Thursday, June 26, 2014

Municipalities Can Adopt 20 mph Speed Zones

Florida Statutes sec. 316.189 states, "With respect to residence districts, a municipality may set a maximum speed limit of 20 or 25 miles per hour on local streets and highways after an investigation determines such a limit is reasonable.  It shall not be necessary to conduct a separate investigation for each residence district."

Around the world, cities are lowering speed limits to 20 mph for greater safety.

If those living on a residential street want a 20 mph limit, municipalities should accommodate the request.   The Florida legislature should amend the statute to include counties.

Massengale and Dover on "Great Streets"

Below you'll find a video of John Massengale and Victor Dover's "Great Streets" lecture at the Congress for the New Urbansim in Buffalo last month.  It's more than an hour long, but worth viewing for the wonderful examples from around the world, many of which Victor presented at Rollins College a few months ago:

Friday, June 13, 2014

Convert One-Way Streets to Two-Ways

Here's a LINK to a story about a study of streets in Louisville converted from one-way to two ways.  An excerpt:
While Louisville experienced a five percent jump in crime during the post-conversion study period (2011 to 2013) as well as the period before conversion (2008 to 2010), a disproportionate amount of crime occurred on multi-lane one-way streets (according to police records). Yet nearly three years after the conversions took place, crime dropped a jaw dropping 23 percent on the converted streets. Auto theft alone has decreased by almost a third on the converted streets, even as it climbed by 36 percent on the nearby one-way streets. At the same time, there was a 42-percent reduction in robberies on the converted streets.
Some of the best returns on real estate investment in Louisville are now found on these formerly fast and furious streets. Property values have increased on two-way streets while nearby one-way streets have declined. The now two-way Brook Street has seen a 39 percent increase in property values after conversion, according to records from the Property Valuation Administration.
Orange Avenue in downtown Orlando could see a resurgence of retail if the City were to convert it from one-way to two-ways.  As a pilot project, the City should at least consider such a conversion north of Colonial Drive.  According to the Orlando Sentinel, a citizen volunteer task force advising City Hall said that
City officials should consider changing downtown's current one-way street network, which is designed to moved traffic in and out quickly but isn't so great for people who aren't in cars. 
Ridgewood Avenue, which connects North Park Avenue in Winter Park to Maitland, would become more desirable to home buyers if converted to two-ways.  I suspect the City made Ridgewood a one-way street heading north to reduce cut-through traffic from the Enzian theater and Park Maitland School.  However, a conversion to two-ways would slow-down cars as well as reduce unnecessary motor vehicle travel by residents, who often must "circle around" to get home. I also suspect property values would rise.  If presented with data from the Louisville study, I'm curious as to what the residents who live there would prefer.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Roundabouts: A Tool for Placemaking

Better Cities and Towns published a piece titled, "Roundabouts: A Tool for Placemaking," which City of Clearwater engineer Ken Sides and I co-wrote.  You can find it at this LINK.