Down the middle of the road.....
with a solution for reverse lanes
June 16, 2009
Now that we have all agreed to take a deep breath and ponder some new thoughts, here is a suggestion that I believe everyone can live with:
Do away entirely with the reverse lane application as it currently exists; however, keep/retain the no-left turn signals during the time that the reverse lanes were in effect.
I have observed that there is more than enough time for all vehicles during designated times to cross through intersections. Provided of course that the no left is still in effect during designated times. This extra time would allow the cars that use the current reverse lane to cross the intersections in the regular lanes. It would also allow for a few cars to turn left at the signal when oncoming traffic has cleared, thereby reducing the neighborhood cut-through encouraged by not allowing any left at intersections under the existing use of the reverse lanes.
The key to this solution is the timing of the lights for the designated posted speed limits which would allow the commuter the knowledge that if they drive at the posted speed limit, they could have a comfortable, hassle- free commute home to the north valley or on their way to work in the morning. They would soon be aware that driving the speed limit is to their advantage. The current lights and timing would need slight modifications, thus saving valuable City Street Transportation funds. Think of the gas that would be saved, the pollution that would be eliminated with traffic not having to do the stop and go; also the safety to consider of not trying to make the light because it was not timed. This would also cut down on the dangerous collisions caused by the reverse lanes. Another important key factor with this solution is that logically you would be able to move many more cars through an intersection if they were already moving at a posted speed rather than beginning from a standing stop at a light. This solution would restore the accessibility to businesses along the 7s moving the same amount of traffic in the same travel times.
We in Phoenix are a smart lot. We would be able to plan our trips in advance to make this work.
The existing poles that have the signage could be retrofitted by the Streets Department allowing one per cent for art to be hung that would enhance the 7s in each direction and visually slow the traffic with a calming effect. The message on the existing poles could relay the message in reference to timed travel, I would entrust that design to our great City Arts and Culture Department.
This simple solution would not require a lot of City expenditures to implement and test.