Learning to Love Your Traffic Engineer ? Collect Local Arterials

Wednesday, October 23 by JerryFoster

NJ Turnpike Crash Stops Rt 1The last installment showed that traffic engineers see West Windsor?s roads as urban, even when bordered by farms. To learn to love them, we need to speak their language, so let?s look at the roadway functional hierarchy. Arterials are major roads, Local roads are self descriptive, and Collector roads connect them.

So what? Each type has its own design, e.g. nobody would live on an interstate, the design precludes driveways.

Princeton Sharrow Nassau Witherspoon 2Let?s look at our Principal Arterials – US 1, Princeton Hightstown Road (CR 571) in downtown West Windsor and Nassau Street (SR 27) in downtown Princeton. How can such different roads be considered the same? Traffic engineers don?t see places, but they do identify ?traffic generators?. Downtowns aren?t relevant, except that they generate enough traffic to warrant an arterial to connect them.

As traffic engineers ?improve? CR571 and SR27 to design standards like Route 1, they destroy the places they don?t recognize, favoring getting through over getting to a place. It?s up to residents to demand local arterials that preserve places for people.

571 East speed 40 1Traffic engineers are an enigma ? they don?t see suburbs or downtowns, and destroy the places they don?t see. How will we learn to love them? Find out in the next installment ? Context Sensitive Solutions.

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