|[A driver on a phone while turning right on red. Portland Ave, Mpls.]|
The article fits a theme I've been mulling for a bit this year. I am thinking through a sort of political triage: what kinds of things can we prioritize to improve our streets for walking and biking? Last time I wrote about road diets, because I think those are the simplest, most effective way to change our urban priorities. This time, I was focusing on what some of the alternatives might look like if we can't agree to spend the money on bumpouts or new lane paint.
Apart from the 'no turn on red' signs, none of these ideas are very likely. Our institutions are still to geared toward a mentality that prioritizes traffic flow at all costs. These ideas, rather than being large revolutionary projects, are cheap, somewhat effective fixes to the large problem of taming traffic. One of the commenters actually improved my argument with a bunch more easy regulatory changes, things like signal timing. Here are some of his ideas:
The point of this conversation is to help biking and walking advocates wrangle with cities. Not every step forward has to involve a big engineering project. Sometimes small changes can add up to a big difference. Next time you're in a conversation with an engineer, politician, or a neighbor concerned about speeding traffic, why not mention one or two of these tweaks. You never know what might work.