Here’s a topic that comes up from time to time in Spokane: converting downtown Spokane streets from one way back to two ways. And the City of Spokane Valley is obviously dealing with that now as well on the Sprague/Appleway couplet.
This article on the ‘Governing’ website says that moving from one to two-way streets is the way of the future, because the streets aren’t just easier for drivers to navigate, but oftentimes the switch brings economic vitality with it.
What’s your opinion? Are you for changing downtown one-way streets back to two-way? What about the Sprague-Appleway couplet?
I think there will always be discussions on one way or two ways. As a pedestrian in downtown I like one ways as I only need to look one way to see which car is going to hit me. Has business picked up along Post in downtown? It is two way now. One way like Division/Ruby moves traffic well, but still not as good as a freeway.
Maybe it's a case of 'the grass is always greener…?' I'm not sure about Post St., I'll have to take a look at the numbers.
The comment from Charles about spotting the driver that will hit him made me laugh. (Remember to tell your legislators to support SB5838 though! Increased penalties for injuring/killing bikes/pedestrians/vulnerable street users with your car: http://bit.ly/WASB5838)
Two-way all the way, baby!
Take the intersection of eastbound Main and northbound Division as an example (because I go through that intersection quite often). An eastbound driver looks to his right for cars. Seeing none, he starts to whip that left turn onto Division.
Whoops! Whoodathunk there would be a pedestrian in that crosswalk? Goll durn it, I bet that broken bone scratched my custom paint job!
Two-way is no guarantee but at least there's a chance at an intersection that the driver's head will swivel in both directions, not just one.
As for the economic impact of street design, when I think about getting to a particular business destination the hassle inherent in making three turns to get to something I can see does present a barrier. It's easier to keep driving in a straight line and find something else, or not stop at all.
At that same Main/Division intersection if I'm heading north, say I spot the Rocket Bakery or Finders Keepers and I want to stop. I have to make three left turns, wait at three stop lights, and emit some fumes along the way.
That is, if I'm in a car. If I'm on my bike, I can hop off and take the cyclist's advantage: a short walk half a block and I'm there locking my bike to the parking meter long before the driver can circle back.
Street design isn't just for moving "traffic"–it's for moving PEOPLE who have made various choices about how to get around.
Thanks Barb! Your point about having to circle the block to visit a business hits especially close to home. I've come extremely close to road rage while trying to access downtown businesses a couple times. I've actually skipped running errands in the past because I've decided I couldn't handle the frustration that day of trying to get through extra intersections AND try to find a place to park on the street. Yes, I need to work on my lack of patience.