Monday, 21 March 2016

50 Bollards Game

There is a game going around in a few locations asking people where they would put up to 50 bollards in their neighbourhood to prevent shortcutting or otherwise to channelize the flow of traffic. I am going to play that game. Link here to the concept:

Here is a map of my neighbourhood:

Fairly small neighbourhood. Let's see where the bollards can go. I indicated a bollard using a red dot and a number.

As you can see, we don't need that many bollards to prevent shortcutting or to create filtered permeability. Only 7 bollards needed. It may be that more than one bollard is needed to make a road look like you can't cheat and go between the bollards in a car, but we could use up to 7 (evenly) to make this happen if we really needed to here. 

Here is my basis for why each bollard exists. 

Bollard one: This removes an access from a large distributor road, creates an unraveled route and simplifies the intersection. It also makes it so that traffic cannot shortcut on Bowen Wynd. 

Bollard two: The school drop off zone exit is going to be located here, so simplifying the intersection would be a good idea, from a future 4 way to a 3 way. It also removes a potential congestion avoidance route once the school is opened. It also creates another example of filtered permeability. 

Bollard three: This makes the whole Barnes Way and Barnes Link area into an area where no shortcutting is even possible, simplifies the collector road and removes a reason to turn so close to the Ellerslie Road intersection. And of course like all the others, creates filtered permeability, creating shorter routes by bike and walking than by car. 

Bollard four: This one is a more interesting one. This bollard makes it so that the part of Blackmud Creek Drive just north of the pond is a residents only area, no traffic that could otherwise be using the Crescent will be using this residential area that would be downgraded to a 30 km/h zone. It also simplifies the intersection to the west. And also, it makes it less likely that traffic will shortcut through the neighbourhood in general by requiring a longer route if you aren't on a bike or foot. 

Bollard five works in conjunction with the bollard just to the west. It makes it so that it is harder to make a mistake and assume that the collector road is still a through route for cars. It also requires the use of using the little triangular bit that makes crossing to the collector road a 90 degree angle one, slowing speeds down. And of course, more filtered permeability. 

Bollard six makes the area to the right a no go zone, just a system of access roads. No motor traffic uses this without needing to be on those very streets. 

Bollard seven: The final bollard(s) I would place in this neighbourhood goes here to simplify the crossing with the collector road and to make the access roads no through zones for motor traffic. 

These bollards also channelize traffic onto the collector roads here, which would be simplified into a single collector road that just happens to take a pair of 90 degree bends. Motor traffic does not really suffer. An extra minute to your trip is nothing to worry about in a car. You say how comfy the car is, all the things it can do, and you don't want to spend another minute in it? Emergency services can have keys to unlock and fold down bollards if they need to. Many of these measures can also be done without bollards. The bollards are just to naturally enforce a rule that would say that you can't come this way. They can be replaced over time with curb extensions to make only about a 3 metre wide access for cyclists and emergency services with forgiving curbs (the 30-45 degree angled kind), and only if that is proven in that location that even with the curb extensions, motorists still come through, would the bollards be used. They can also often be the flexible kind, so crashing into a bollard shouldn't be too big of a problem, and with well lit and striped bollards, visibility should not be an issue. 

Why not play this game for yourself? Where would you put up to 50 bollards in your neighbourhood to make the streets more livable, create filtered permeability, closing off shortcutting or rat running routes, whatever reason? 

Note that this is just the start of making streets more livable and human scale and people friendly. Many more things are required, low volume 30 km/h access roads, cycle tracks/cycle lanes on distributor roads, and safe intersections to link them. 

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