Wednesday, August 27, 2008

News from Sandy

Cul-de-sacs: AtlantaImage via Wikipedia Theater project in Sandy clears tall hurdle

All this in Sandy's downtown. Oh wait, Sandy does not really have a downtown. Of course this will be several blocks from the TRAX station and the area between the TRAX station and the theater is so pedestrian unfriendly who would want to walk it?

Sandy to rebuild 1300 East

Sandy is going to rebuild 1300 East from 7800 South to 10600 South to help ease the traffic congestion problem.

This points out one of the basic problems with standard suburban development with Sandy being a perfect example. You have many small streets that end in cul de sacs that send of off their residents on to one or two collector streets. All those people are then turned onto the main arterial (in this case 1300 East). That puts all the pressure on the arterials to carry a majority of the traffic which leads to the major traffic problems.

After all, south of Insterstate 215 how many options are there? You have State Street, 700 East, 1300 East or Highland Drive. North of 4500 South you have Main Street, State Street, 300 East, 500 East, 700 East, 900 East, 1300 East and Highland Drive.

Not only does this development focus all traffic on a few arterial streets, it also means that nothing is in walking distance for the residents. No matter what you do you have either a very long walk or have to drive. In addition walking means you are forced onto streets that are not designed for pedestrians and take your life into your own hands walking in.

That also creates a situation that bus service is nearly useless and why it is not economical is now stands to provide standard bus service in those areas. The bus service is so far from the residents and is only reached by a long walk many times in areas without sidewalks.

Until developments are designed for people to walk and use transit, it is uneconomical to provide transit service to these areas. We need more and better transit service, but we also need to start ensuring that developments are designed to support it.
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