Thus the Four-lane Death Road™.
Here's the punchline:
And here again is an attempt to describe some of the science and research behind the Death Road™(aka road diet) debate:
As opposed to some really low-traffic streets, fixing these streets might involve changing the balance between high-speed traffic flow, safety, and quality of life. As a city, we need to have an intelligent conversation about what these trade-offs are, and how to value them.
Saint Paul and Hennepin County should increase the threshold where they're favor 4-3 conversions on streets. Even if some traffic conditions become more congested, the trade-off in terms of pedestrian safety, neighborhood quality of life, and improving access to small businesses is well worth it for often struggling urban neighborhoods.
To me the trade-off between car capacity and safety for vulnerable users of our public rights-of-way is a moral question, not a transportation question. These designs erode the safety and security of people living int he city, and they're simply too dangerous. We shoudl get rid of them as soon as possible. Full stop.
So here's the list of roads we should immediately convert to 3-lane designs. All of these need to go. They are not OK. They need to die.
The Death Road Death Watch List (in no particular order)
- Rice Street (the Saint Paul / North End portion)
- Lyndale Avenue (in South Minneapolis)
- East Lake Street (east of Hiawatha)
- West Broadway Avenue (in Northeast)
- West Broadway Avenue (in North)
- White Bear Avenue (North of I-94)
- University Avenue (in Northeast)
- Franklin Avenue
- West 7th Street (between Grand and Downtown)
- Hamline Avenue (North of Summit)
- Cretin Avenue (North of Grand)
- Dale Street (North of Summit)
- Robert Street (through downtown)
- Maryland Avenue (East of Western)
- Hennepin Avenue (South of Downtown)
- 46th Street South
- Hennepin Avenue (East of Central)
Am I missing any? To me, this is a moral question. We must change these streets. Nothing else will do.
Eventually, we'll fix these streets. Why not now?