Car Storage That Does Something Useful: Slow Traffic
EDITOR’S NOTE: This post originally posted on Feb. 17, 2011
On Street Parking & Traffic Calming
Fern St. Traverse City, MI
The narrow street and scattered parking slow most motorists down and even turn some large vehicles away in this section of Fern St. between 8th and Lincoln. The section sees cars parking here almost everyday to reach businesses and services on 8th St. A problem does exist with the fact that there are no sidewalks on either side of the street; this despite it being a heavily walked area. Still, the slower traffic makes it manageable.
Unfortunately, further south on Fern St. cars are unobstructed and their speeds and aggressive behaviors increase. This is because the streetscape opens up and there is rarely anyone parking along the street.
What happens in the image above is a mimicking one form of traffic calming called a chicane, introduced below in a 24 second animation by Elizabeth Press of StreetFilms. It’s a useful idea for Traverse City, or any small town really, that is seeking some quick and inexpensive ways to calm traffic. We could & need to actually build some chicanes, but even easier would be to narrow neighborhood streets and allow/encourage 24/7 on-street parking.
More tools from inside the traffic calming toolbox from PPS.
EXTRA IDEA: A permitting scheme for neighborhood parking could also be one way to fund sidewalk improvements. Dedicate the funds to first sidewalks/crossings and then traffic calming tools.