General Infrastructure

jass

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Is legal justification the same as practical necessity?

Do (did) municipalities install lights at thresholds below MUTCD levels?

Can municipalities "just say no"?
The intersection can meet many of the conditions and not get a signal because of funding. So no one is forcing them to add a signal.
 

real_EthanHunt

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the warrant(s) are supposed to be met or a signal shouldnt be installed.
just because the warrants are met, doesnt mean you have to install a signal.
its not a legal disucssion, its an engineering standard.
 

Arlington

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My concern is that the engineering standard is a standard that encourages cars to speed (to make full use of the green, to race through the yellow trying to beat the red) similar to the way that the standards encourage wide lanes (which also encourage highway thinking on neighborhood streets).

In contrast, Somerville is replacing a traffic light on powerhouse boulevard with a 4-way stop.

The political theory seems to be that the teacher who was hit at the the school was hit in part because the driver was looking ahead to the green traffic light at the upcoming intersection. If you give drives a green light, they seem to think more about speed and less about people.


So frankly I think pulling out traffic lights and replacing them with 4-way stops works as engineering theory also:
1) traffic lights are not traffic calming.
2) often it is better to bulb out the kerb and reduce the intersection to a single lane rather than have four Lanes of asphalt for a pedestrian to cross
3) once only a single lane from each direction is entering intersection a stop sign works pretty well.
 

JeffDowntown

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My concern is that the engineering standard is a standard that encourages cars to speed (to make full use of the green, to race through the yellow trying to beat the red) similar to the way that the standards encourage wide lanes (which also encourage highway thinking on neighborhood streets).

In contrast, Somerville is replacing a traffic light on powerhouse boulevard with a 4-way stop.

The political theory seems to be that the teacher who was hit at the the school was hit in part because the driver was looking ahead to the green traffic light at the upcoming intersection. If you give drives a green light, they seem to think more about speed and less about people.


So frankly I think pulling out traffic lights and replacing them with 4-way stops works as engineering theory also:
1) traffic lights are not traffic calming.
2) often it is better to bulb out the kerb and reduce the intersection to a single lane rather than have four Lanes of asphalt for a pedestrian to cross
3) once only a single lane from each direction is entering intersection a stop sign works pretty well.
The road diet approach (single lane at intersection) also lends itself to the mini-rotaries discussed for many of the same reasons. They also rather force drivers to pay attention.
 

whighlander

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The road diet approach (single lane at intersection) also lends itself to the mini-rotaries discussed for many of the same reasons. They also rather force drivers to pay attention.
Jeff -- many of these "innovative ideas" for restructuring intersections work fine in simulations and under very low traffic density conditions [e.g. late at night]. However, toss in the usual collection of Boston Area anomalies and things go down-hill rapidly. For example despite signs identifying who is to yield tin rotary there is always someone who fails to understand the concept. Best case -- horns honking -- otherwise you can get fender-benders with their associated delays.

Overall -- with some exceptions --- experience has shown that for our kinds of commuters, our kind of weather, etc that signalized intersections with the appropriate timing and conversion to Blinking Yellow after hours is the best.
 

KCasiglio

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I'd really like to see some data behind that. Everything I've seen in the past has shown that even where they don't significantly decrease accidents rotary intersections sharply decrease injuries and fatalities. I've never seen a study where accidents, even minor ones, increase. I worry that allowing the masshole perception to guide design is a self fulfilling prophecy.
 

jass

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I'd really like to see some data behind that. Everything I've seen in the past has shown that even where they don't significantly decrease accidents rotary intersections sharply decrease injuries and fatalities. I've never seen a study where accidents, even minor ones, increase. I worry that allowing the masshole perception to guide design is a self fulfilling prophecy.
A lot depends on the design.

Unfortunately, US engineers took the European roundabout - designed for low speeds, and using their highway engineering skills to create dangerous monsters.

A 1 lane roundabout with sharp entrance and exit points is very safe.

A 3 lane roundabout with high speed bypasses is not.
 

Equilibria

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The "Good luck with that" is from the Governor of New Hampshire, soon to be the only state in the union with sequential exits. His defense?

“It’s how we identify,” he said. In his native town of Salem, “you were an Exit 1, 2, or 3 kid, and it kind of said where you were in the town.”
Given that exits and mileposts both go south to north, in all likelihood exits 1, 2, and 3 will remain exits 1, 2, and 3. New Hampshire is a long, thin state without many freeways, so I guess we could pour one out for those poor "Exit 41 kids" in Littleton who will need to get used to being "Exit 122 kids" in a decade. The horror!

His other arguments aren't much better. Businesses that market themselves by exit number can simply change the number (it's not like businesses in mile-marker states don't advertise that way), and GPS hasn't made exit numbers obsolete. Emergency services still apparently value the exit/mile-marker equivalency, for instance, and a casual driver should still value knowing at a glance how far they are from their destination.

In MA, the shift to mile-marker exits should have come with other changes in road numbering to make the exit numbers make logical sense. The Cape people are right - it's nonsensical to have a driver from Braintree count down to zero on Route 3 then suddenly cross a bridge and be at Exit 55. MassDOT should extend the MA-3 designation to Orleans, unsigned, and count the mile markers from there up to Braintree. Then, they can assign the I-293 designation to US-3 north of Boston, placing Exit 1 in Burlington where it should be. If NHDOT closes the gap of Interstate-standard highway on the FE Everett Turnpike, I-293 would run Burlington-Manchester. US-3 could be rerouted back onto its former roads that now carry the 3A number, which would be consistent with the types of roads that carry the designation into Boston.

Other states with newer road networks don't have these problems, because they didn't typically have to force numbers onto centuries-old road networks.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Meh...the Gov. Council opposes him on that. Plus I bet once there's actual FHA funding penalties in 10 years for not hurrying up and starting they'll change their tune real fast. If there's one thing NH is known for far more than sequential exits, it's unwillingness to pay their own way for infrastructure. Fed fun bux streams FTW.
 

tangent

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A lot depends on the design.

Unfortunately, US engineers took the European roundabout - designed for low speeds, and using their highway engineering skills to create dangerous monsters.

A 1 lane roundabout with sharp entrance and exit points is very safe.

A 3 lane roundabout with high speed bypasses is not.
+1 Yes... this. ^

This relatively newer rotary in Lynn is a good example of a well functioning rotary that seems to have overall improved traffic flow: https://goo.gl/maps/jYc45T6vuMXiFFzG6

Wish there were more like it.
 

bakgwailo

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Shouldn't there be cross walks in an out of the middle part of that rotary?
 

bakgwailo

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I mean from the google maps link - there is a pedestrian in the rotary and it looks like a legit pedestrian path down the middle. Just seemed pretty stange/unsafe to have what looks like pedestrian ways in the middle but no way to get to them safely.
 

BostonUrbEx

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That's not a pedestrian path, that is just some gravel landscaping to show where Western Ave/Rt 107 continues. I think there's also some manholes for utilities that run up and down Western Ave in there.
 

bakgwailo

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That's not a pedestrian path, that is just some gravel landscaping to show where Western Ave/Rt 107 continues. I think there's also some manholes for utilities that run up and down Western Ave in there.
That makes me feel a bit better than, lol.
 

shmessy

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Report says land at T stations could handle 253,000 housing units — and ease traffic gridlock
I read that and found it mildly interesting - - along the lines of "Yes, breathing in deeply increases one's oxygen intake".

That being said, I applaud the folks putting out this report as it creates critical mass for the argument to be ACTUALLY DOING SOMETHING about this very obvious need. The unfortunate thing is Massachusetts has a Governor who has zero vision towards the future and the disaster that looms as he obstructs progress that would only benefit the long-term economy and competitiveness.
 

whighlander

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I read that and found it mildly interesting - - along the lines of "Yes, breathing in deeply increases one's oxygen intake".

That being said, I applaud the folks putting out this report as it creates critical mass for the argument to be ACTUALLY DOING SOMETHING about this very obvious need. The unfortunate thing is Massachusetts has a Governor who has zero vision towards the future and the disaster that looms as he obstructs progress that would only benefit the long-term economy and competitiveness.
Shmessy -- I don't often defend Charlie because I think he has caved to "Useless Green Idiots" on a number of items -- But
You have just delivered an Ad Hominem attack without any supporting evidence whatsoever -- you may not like Charlie's vision for the future of housing and transportation -- but Charlie has published it -- its now in the hands of the Legislature and up to them to make it into Law
 

shmessy

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Shmessy -- I don't often defend Charlie because I think he has caved to "Useless Green Idiots" on a number of items -- But
You have just delivered an Ad Hominem attack without any supporting evidence whatsoever -- you may not like Charlie's vision for the future of housing and transportation -- but Charlie has published it -- its now in the hands of the Legislature and up to them to make it into Law

There are so many several specific instances with regard to his foot dragging on transportation initiatives, be it the NSRL, the Blue-Red Connector, West Station, etc. that it needs no further regurgitation and irrelevant thread derailment here - - although I understand that's what you live for.

For the sake of this thread, I'll just keep it to "read the linked Globe article" - - specifically, the part where it discusses the competing bills in the legislature regarding housing around rail stations - - and how his is, of course, the watered down version that allows locales to use their discretion to ignore the issue.
 

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