A few words of encouragement if you’ve ever been the only non-traffic engineer in a room full of traffic engineers.
- It’s OK to question Level of Service and traffic volume projections. They’ve often been wrong before. They will be wrong again.
- It’s OK to advocate for narrower lanes.
- It’s OK to use the phrases “fast”, “anti-urban” and “does not meet livability goals” when describing one way couplets.
- Protected bike lanes are no longer radical ideas, even if they mean taking traffic lanes away from automobiles.
- Your intuition is correct. Sharrows on high volume streets are dangerous and should not be used just to placate cyclists.
- Full time on-street parking is not an impediment to traffic flow, even on urban arterials. It’s a retail-booster and a revenue generating traffic calming device.
- It’s OK to talk about big picture things when the conversation focuses on minutia.
- It’s OK to expect something exceptional and transformational from a project.
- It’s OK to suggest that the project engineers actually walk or bike on the street they are designing.
- It’s OK to question neighborhood design speeds in excess of 20mph, the 85% percentile rule, intersection geometrics and clear zones, even if you’re not an engineer.
- Aesthetics are just as important as function. Signal poles, bus stops, sidewalks, and the entire streetscape are as much a part of urban design as buildings and parks.
…learning how to make cities rich and fecund and great places to be so we’re comfortable and healthy and happy is the biggest problem we face. The only way we’ll not go crazy is to build beautiful, rich, life-enhancing cities….The majority of open spaces in cities are streets. That means the street system is too important to leave solely to transportation engineers. They’re way too important to leave to just moving traffic. So I’m interested in cities because they are the design problem for a habitable planet. – Laurie Olin
Keep on going.