Sunday, September 5, 2010

Washington DC Ped Bike Innovations

Just returned from Washington DC, (I am serving on a National Cooperative Highway Research Program Panel 3-103) and while there enjoyed seeing a few new pedestrian and bicycle related innovations that are new as of my last visit to the Verizon Center/Chinatown neighborhood and Pennsylvania Avenue. The first example was a pedestrian scramble, which makes sense when there is so many people walking around. I am asked about installing these on occasion and there might be a few locations where it would make sense in Portland, but it would increase delay for pedestrians and have to be outside of the normal operations, which would make it hard to operate.
The two way center running bike facilities are very nice and make Pennsylvania Avenue a little bit more friendly as a street. The street is super wide, so making this happen was a snap because they simply took some width out of what was otherwise three super wide lanes in each direction. The design of the intersections and the traffic signals are a little challenging, they have placed bollard strategically to make them work. I need to determine whether I have some before pictures, which would be an interesting comparison.
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