People Oriented Places

Hi folks! I just wanted to share some inspiring images that I saw today from Janette Sadik-Khan. If you don’t follow her, she is the previous DOT lead for NYC and is a legit rock star (and author of the book Street Fight). She reclaimed 180 acres of ROW to be people oriented spaces through the creation of 400 miles of bike facilities (protected and connected system) and pedestrian plazas. She did this in 6.5 years with 1% of the total DOT budget for NYC. What could we do in Raleigh if we allocated the same resources and vision? Wanted to share some before and after images and start a feed on opportunities we have in Raleigh to think about people oriented design.

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I kind of like the idea of using car parking to “protect” the bike lane. It’s actually more effective than the flimsy poles that are commonly used. Of course, planters and some other more substantial structures could also be used but using cars for barriers seems appropriate. :slight_smile:

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Theres plenty of opportunity around downtown. The most obvious that comes to mind is 504 Hillsborough Parking lot.


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That little triangle is begging to become a little city park with benches and a fountain. I have thought that for a long time. :slight_smile:

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Same here. :fountain:

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While I agree that having the parked cars protecting a bike lane is much better than the other way around, I wonder if there’s been instances of a moving vehicle crashing into a parked car, and then that parked car crashing into a cyclist.
Ultimately, we are never safe from everything, all the time, and I get that. I also know that there are sometimes limited options to what can effectively be accomplished to improve the safety of the cyclists. However, is there a pecking order list of most safe to least safe options for cycling? I’d suspect that the safest is put the bike lanes off the street altogether like the sidewalks are.

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Thanks for sharing, Mary! Wish we could get some DOT leadership like that. :slight_smile:

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If we look at the options, being completely separate with a well established crash-proof barrier is best but would require more $$ and planning. If we look at the lame least effective options like the flimsy poles (below), I’ll take a barrier of cars any day.

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I agree with you Dylan,
And I’ll take the flimsy poles every day over not having them & the hashed out buffer area between the two lanes. Then, I’d take the non buffered, non-pole lane every day over the stupid sharrow. Then, I’d take the stupid sharrow over nothing all.
This is the sort of ranking that I was wondering about.

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Pedestrians walking on sidewalks don’t have any barriers to protect them either (unless there is parking on the street). Maybe we should protect the walkers first before doing anything for bicyclists? I mean as long as we are spending vast amounts of taxpayers’ money. My point is… we have to be reasonable here.

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I’ve always thought that this little area–just North of the intersection of Oberlin and Wade–would make a great little parklet, but I have no idea who owns it.

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The curbing protects pedestrians on sidewalks. It may not be much, but it is a deterrent and will slow down a vehicle unless it is completely out of control.

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Then I am guessing you would be happy with a simple curb for bicyclists? Would that make everybody happy? (and I won’t mention here how many times I have see a car jumping a curb).

Don’t we basically solve both by “protecting” the bike lane? I guess the scenario/context depends but I’d like to kill two birds with one stone if possible.

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I don’t bike on busy roads. I don’t have a death wish :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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or not kill two birds as it were…:wink:

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That was exactly what I said to her when she signed my book! (she signed it - keep fighting, which I love!)

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Good urban / pedestrian environments do have protection for pedestrians - street trees and curbs. Vastly better than paint offered currently to bicyclists. Also, having bikes buffered by cars ensures that the bike lane is another “buffer” for the pedestrians. It’s all about people oriented mobility from my stand point. We have also made significant improvements to pedestrian ROW in our UDO, which dictates larger, more generous sidewalks for pedestrians, which is great. To me, we should be looking at this as allocating additional space to people (on bikes / foot) and less to cars, and I firmly believe positive things will come from that

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When I went to exploris middle school we used that parking lot for recess. Just getting rid of the cars and replacing the gravel with grass or mulch would be enough to make it a nice little outdoor space.

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There’s no information available on the iMaps website, so I’m going to guess it’s owned by the DOT, unfortunately.