Learning to Love Your Traffic Engineer – What the Public Wants

Wednesday, November 13 by JerryFoster

It?s hard to learn to love our traffic engineers ? they don?t see the same world we do, and don?t want to talk about it. Why not? Have you been to a public meeting?

The public has issues – many residents have not learned to disengage knee-jerk thinking, do their homework or propose constructive suggestions. Some are hostile to any government action, including road projects.

We choose to live in West Windsor because of the promise of safety, good schools, open space and convenient train commuting. We love our cars, but don?t want traffic in our neighborhoods.

Charles Marohn, an engineer and planner, identifies the different values of residents and engineers. In order, residents prioritize safety, low cost, traffic volume and speed, while engineers prioritize speed, volume, safety and cost.

Value divergence shows in the effort to improve walking and biking along Cranbury Road. Despite WWBPA recommendations, residents? public comments and numerous yard signs asking motorists to Drive 25, traffic calming was rejected as a project goal.

We?re determined to learn to love our engineers, so in our next installment we?ll focus on the most divergent values ? speed and volume.

 

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Merchants Say Bike Lanes Good for Business

Sunday, February 20 by JerryFoster

According to a study of the economic impact of traffic calming measures in San Francisco, “Sixty-six percent of the merchants believe that the bike lanes have had a generally positive impact on their business.”

The 2003 study, by Emily Drennan of San Francisco State University, notes:

“Small business owners can be the most vocal opponents of traffic calming projects because they fear losing revenue due to changes to the streetscape.

Some research suggests that traffic calming projects can actually improve business conditions and raise revenues for small businesses (Lockwood, 1998).

The Valencia Street Bike Lane Merchant Survey uses business interviews to gather qualitative information about the effects of the Valencia Street bicycle lanes on small businesses in the area.”

Over 65% of the merchants surveyed supported more traffic calming measures.

How about in West Windsor? Will merchants support traffic calming on our Main Street, Rt 571?

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