Wednesday, 10 February 2016

So Many Minor Side Streets!

In the areas that are not in the newer areas of the city, the areas where the road system is based on a grid not circles, there are a large number of minor side streets. Why there are so many, I can't understand. Surely maybe only a quarter or a fifth of them are needed, they work in other areas of the city, for motor traffic to keep access. 

To explain the problem better, here is a map:,-113.5009867,16.75z?hl=en. Take a look at 104 Ave or another main artery. Now look at how many cross streets that themselves are not arteries there are. It's absurd how many there are. Because driving a car is almost effortless over a few hundred metres, it should be no trouble to just close off these minor side streets so that there is usually one about every 500-1000 metres apart to access a neighbourhood. And there doesn't have to be an access on all of the arteries the neighbourhood is bounded by. 1 or 2 accesses total into the neighbourhood should be plenty. 

By doing this, it achieves several goals: A, it has fewer intersections where cars can be a problem, so less of a minor side street issue, B it makes that there is unraveling of cycle and walking routes from motor traffic routes, C, it creates pleasant neighbourhoods with less through traffic, D it creates better traffic flow as fewer turning movements need to happen, fewer traffic signals need to be put in place and the signals that remain can be turned into simple bicycle and pedestrian crossings or into simpler bicycle and pedestrian only crossings and E, it makes distributor and through roads closer to their purpose as roads with no local access. 

Does anyone seriously believe that an access for motor traffic every 60-100 metres or so is really essential to traffic flow, do we really need that much permeability by car? Is it going to (metaphorically and literally) kill anyone to drive a few seconds longer in the 30 km/h zone? Absolutely not. 

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