Traffic Flow, who should come first, people or vehicles?

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Traffic flow is a challenge these days. Who should be priority? Pedestrians or vehicles?

Traffic Flow

New York City trafficThere are three types of traffic flow to consider:

  1. People
  2. Motorized vehicles
  3. Bicycles

 

Who takes priority?

When I was young, it was rare for families to have one car. These days, there are often more than two in many driveways. Apartment buildings were rarely more than 10 stories. Now, they are often three or more times taller. Bicycles were one gear and now more likely have 21 gears. With such exponential growth, we’re all fighting for space and priority.

People

Photo of pedestriansAs cities run out of space to expand, the only way to go is up. Apartment buildings are now almost cities within a city. In metropolitan areas, a city block seem like a half kilometer long. For many senior citizens and people with challenges walking, going to the next cross walk can take “forever”.

We hear of pedestrians who are hit by cars because they were crossing in the middle of the block. A motorist may feel that it’s the pedestrian’s fault but would you want to take a half hour to get to the other side of the street?

We need to find a way to make city streets safer for pedestrians.

Motorized Vehicles

When I started driving in 1979, we thought there were a lot of cars then! I would love to know the numbers but I believe there are at least twice as many cars today or more. Back in those days, I could travel from one end of Hamilton, Ontario to the other and never hit a red light if I got the timing right. There were four main arteries running east and west that I used, and the speeds varied by 1 or 2 miles per hour. You just had to remember which road you were on. North and south didn’t work as well until the expressways were built in the last few years.

I work in Toronto now and live in Barrie and have never had that non stop experience in either of those cities. I can actually still do it in Hamilton. If the speeds were adjusted like that in Toronto, I wonder if it would actually work?

Bicycles

In larger metropolitan areas like Toronto, bikes are becoming more common and I believe should be encouraged. How do we do that? Increasing the number of bike lanes?

Personally, I believe they are a vehicle like any car. In the city, many go just as fast. What I resent is that many seem to believe they are above the law. I have almost been run into on paths and in crosswalks. If you live in Toronto, how many times have you seen bikes run through crosswalks to make a left turn into a bike lane?

Pedestrians or vehicles?

Something needs to be done to protect pedestrians before someone is hurt badly or even killed. It’s time someone started coming up with new ideas. For example, when Weber’s had a problem on Highway 11 north of Orillia, the company bought a bridge from the province and moved it to facilitate pedestrians crossing above highway to get safely to their store.

What if local Chambers of Commerce worked with businesses to build bridges for pedestrians? Do you have other ideas? Don’t just complain about problems. Take ideas to your municipal government representative and business organizations!

Make it a great day,

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for people who run for government positions. I’m thankful for people who offers solutions rather than just complaining. I’m thankful for the bus drivers who relieve me of the stress of commuting.

What are you thankful for today?

 

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