[Carfreeliving] Oak and Masonic
dave at livablecity.org
Thu Nov 17 15:41:11 MST 2005
My opinion is that this is a policy matter not an engineering matter
and therefore should be kicked up to the MTA. It's simply a tradeoff
-- driver convenience versus pedestrian safety, and our policy makers
draw the line where the needs of safety are more important than
driver convenience. Both are important to all of us, but after nearly
a century of that line moving more and more toward driver
convenience, that line is much too far in that direction and its
movement for the last decade or two in the other direction is not
Since it's our elected officials job to set that line, this is a
policy issue for them, not the engineers. The engineers can tell us
objectively to the best of their ability how various proposals will
impact car movement and pedestrian safety, but they shouldn't be in
charge of where to put that line. Write letters to Stuart Sunshine,
the Mayor, Mirkarimi, and the MTA Board. While it was nice of Jack to
help you out earlier without you having to go the political route, it
strengthens our movement to make pedestrian safety a political
demand, not an engineering task.
At 1:16 PM -0800 11/17/05, Brinkman, Cheryl wrote:
>Oak at Masonic used to be a double turn lane from Oak to Masonic. A
>few months ago, June I think, the second turn lane was removed -
>well, the tow away zone was removed so cars can now park along the
>left side of Oak all the way up to the crosswalk. This meant that
>there is only one lane of cars turning left across the Masonic cross
>walk that connects the two halves of the Panhandle.
>This was accomplished after a comprehensive e-mail string to DPT
>engineering listing all the reasoning behind improving pedestrian
>and bike safety, the fact that the left turning cars simply meet a
>red light at Fell, and that Oak street does not appear to be at
>capacity - cars come in clumps across all four lanes, but no clump
>seems to be deeper then about four or five cars, and of course that
>the City Charter states blah blah blah....
>Now my lovely "ark here and help slow the cars down"is going be
>removed for morning rush hours 7-9 apparently due river
>complaints and the fact that the intersection backs up. I did not
>go out and publicize the removal of the turn lane to peds and bikes,
>thinking that perhaps it was better to fly under the radar and not
>call attention to it. That was a mistake I guess, the drivers
>complained and the peds did not state their happiness at feeling
>safer crossing Masonic. Drivers win again.
>Would the correct ultimate decision maker be Jack Fleck of DPT
>engineering? As usual, I don't understand why driver convenience
>trumps pedestrian safety but I want to keep the intersection at one
>turn lane only. It really is safer for peds.
>Any advise would be welcome.
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