Thursday, January 19, 2017

Wes keeps on “beating a dead horse”: Those one-way streets in our City. Return back to two-way traffic?

Whilst on the subject of “beating a dead horse”:

“WHAP WHAP WHAP!” Remember The Inimitable Tom McGow? He’s a former Lake Worth resident and blogger-extraordinaire.

Now that the City’s bond referendum passed overwhelmingly last November 8th to fix the roads and potholes, can we try a little experiment? Try changing a few one-way streets back to two-way like our City was designed in the first place over 100 years ago? Two-way streets create more “eyes on the street”, reduce crime, increase property values, and slow down speeding cars. Just a few benefits.

Here’s an article from the Strong Towns blog written by Rachel Quednau; an excerpt:

     A recent article out of South Bend, IN suggests that the movement toward two-way streets is growing. [emphasis added] South Bend plans to convert many of its downtown streets back into two-ways by the end of 2016.
     As an example from the neighboring state of Kentucky, the article explains how one multilane couplet (two parallel one-way streets that move traffic in opposite directions) was previously a high crime, low-property value area:
     John Gilderbloom, director of the Center for Sustainable Urban Neighborhoods at the University of Louisville, lived on First Street with his wife when he first moved to the city. 
It was awful, he recalled recently. “There were prostitutes, people selling fenced goods, drugs, everything like that. . .” But after the couplet was returned to its two-way origins:
     Steadily, crime fell, property values rose and retail revenues increased, he said. New investment followed, as residents and business owners rushed to take advantage of the improving landscape.
Remember, Lake and Lucerne avenues in the Downtown weren’t always a multilane couplet (one-way each way). That came later when the most important goal for FDOT and traffic engineers was getting cars from point A to point B as quickly as possible, pedestrians and bicyclists an afterthought.

Many streets in Lake Worth could easily be returned to two-way without many changes to the road infrastructure. Of course things like signage will have to change along with driver behavior as well.

Good idea? Or is Wes still “beating a dead horse”?

Important to remember: Lake and Lucerne avenues are controlled by FDOT, not the City. Other FDOT roadways are Lake Worth Rd. and Federal Hwy.

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