Complete Streets Aren’t Intuitive: Quotable

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QUOTABLE

 

“Am I supposed to be driving or managing instructions? It’s just not intuitive. If we have to put up that much signage, aren’t we missing the point with design?”

Driver and cyclist Mike Hayes on the 44 traffic signs he counted in two blocks on the new complete Main Street.

 

The response of complete-street advocates is drivers are just going to have to learn. How many cyclists will be injured or killed in this learning process? How many drivers will be traumatized when it happens?

This isn’t a game. It isn’t a design exercise. It’s people’s lives.

 


 

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5 thoughts on “Complete Streets Aren’t Intuitive: Quotable

  1. It is important to note irrespective of the status of the roadway, there are the same complement of passenger vehicles, buses, delivery trucks, cyclists, pedestrians and skateboarders. What is different is the array of paint and concrete, a plethora of additional signs, and a false sense of enhanced safety that goes with getting an official right of way for the cyclists.

    At issue is whether drivers who are used to piloting along a conventional street form can make the transition to a more complicated form of street, one that requires the driver to concentrate more. Note that requiring the driver to concentrate on the road is not a bad thing.

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    1. Ron Benn,

      I would add that enlarging McIlraith Bridge to provide cycling lanes is a great feature. The city needs to do the same for many other bridges in Ottawa that are too narrow for cyclists, for example, all of the Bank Street bridges.

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  2. My two cents on signage. Make signs larger at major intersections. As I approach the intersection it takes a while to actually see the lettering. Yup, getting older. As are others.

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    1. In the Phoenix metroplex, major cross streets have signs that can be read from a major block away, with lights shining on them so they are visible at night. The general concept is to let the motorist know what the next major intersection is, allowing them to get in the correct lane if they have to make a turn. In contrast, in Ottawa motorists find out they missed their turn as they drive past a small, poorly or unlit sign.

      It all starts with attitude. In Ottawa, the prevalent culture in Laurier Avenue appears to be that residents and visitors are an inconvenience, something to be tolerated at best, but preferably just ignored. That attitude starts at the top, and filters its way down to the rank and file.

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