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General Road and Highway Discussion
#31
As an almost-daily commuter on both Erb and Bridgeport, I can tell you that yes, the capacity as it stands today is warranted. Going down to 1 lane in each direction, per road, would be absolute chaos and a huge step backward, in my opinion. It is an excellent alternative to getting to Laurier over 85/University.

To "improve walkability" - um, how? And for who? It's all houses along there. I never see any pedestrians. And where would they be walking to/from? Uptown Waterloo 3 km to their house? I doubt it...
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
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#32
Does anyone know what the traffic volumes on Bridgeport and Erb are?

One-way streets are very unfriendly to people on foot or bike. Wide one-ways encourage speeding. The reason people aren't seen to be walking on these streets is because it's so unpleasant. To answer your question about where they might be walking to/from, in addition to Uptown, there is a lot of commercial on these streets around Weber; and several schools and churches on or near both Erb and Bridgeport. The neighbourhoods on either side also have parks and other residents whom people might want to visit: a big busy one-way street pairing can be like a moat separating two neighbourhoods.
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#33
Strategic positioning of one way streets alleviates congestion. Growing up in Hamilton, you could get from end of the city to the other in less than 15 minutes, with the lights timed and driving with the flow. Yes, I know, that one ways are confusing to visitors, but I would much rather drive the length of Hamilton, than KW.
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#34
For people living in the lower city, Hamilton's one-way streets are a nightmare: if you live on one, traffic goes by needlessly fast in front of your home. Even if not, streets like Main and King and Victoria and Wentworth are so unpleasant to cross that they effectively bisect neighbourhoods.

It's not the fact that one-ways can be confusing. It's that they are so hostile to any form of transportation besides the automobile. They've been bad for Hamilton. We shouldn't have it as our goal for people to be able to drive the length of our city quickly. When they do need to get from one side to the other, that's why we have an expressway.
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#35
I was very pleased when Duke and Charles went back to two-way from one-way. Although it didn't really have much impact on the local habit of cruising King St to get through the downtown! Smile
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#36
Here are Region of Waterloo traffic counts from 2013: http://www.regionofwaterloo.ca/en/gettin...ations.pdf

For example, Bridgeport between Margaret and Ellis has a daily count of 13,475. Erb between Allen and Margaret has a daily count of 16,624.

Chicago's complete streets guideline, for instance, states that streets carrying less than 25,000 vehicles a day should be one lane in each direction.
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#37
(03-05-2015, 12:34 PM)MidTowner Wrote: One-way streets are very unfriendly to people on foot or bike. Wide one-ways encourage speeding. The reason people aren't seen to be walking on these streets is because it's so unpleasant. 

One way [sorry about the pun] to mitigate that is with "green wave" traffic light timing. That's done now but the implementation is abysmal. 

First there are no signs to indicate that lights are timed so it's futile to go faster than the posted speed limit. 

Second there are exceptions like the lights on Bridgeport and Bluevale and also at Ellis that don't participate in the wave. So a lone car on those side streets can stop all traffic on Bridgeport and disrupt the wave timing.

Third there's little or no provision for pedestrians/cyclists to cross. Consider where the Laurel Trail. There's a button operated light where it crosses Erb. But at Bridgeport we're left to cross 3 or 4 lanes of speeding traffic.
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#38
Someone seems to think the one-way section of Erb is a two way, I saw a car going the wrong direction between King and Regina around 6:40 last night.
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#39
You're right that the green wave can discourage speeding. People aren't always rational, so their knowledge that going 50 will mean they hit green lights might be counteracted by the feeling that they are on a big wide street designed for high speed. And, you're right, not everyone knows, so my drive as fast as possible (on these roads, pretty fast), pass each other, so on.

I wonder what the timing is for the green wave? I know that, in Hamilton, it's set at slightly higher than the speed limit.

You're absolutely right that there needs to be more provisions to cross. Having a crosswalk on one of the pair but not a partner on the other is senseless. More would be good. The best solution would still be two-way conversion.
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#40
(03-05-2015, 01:12 PM)MidTowner Wrote: I wonder what the timing is for the green wave? I know that, in Hamilton, it's set at slightly higher than the speed limit.

In my experience it's dead-on 50km/hr. I've "experimented" with 55 from the start of a green light at Margaret and always arrive at Weber while the light there still has a few seconds of red left. 

BTW it's awfully hard to maintain 50 or 55 when everyone else is going much faster, sometimes acting aggressively against the "slow poke" who's merely obeying the limit.
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#41
(03-05-2015, 12:17 PM)Canard Wrote: To "improve walkability" - um, how?  And for who?  It's all houses along there.  I never see any pedestrians.  And where would they be walking to/from?  Uptown Waterloo 3 km to their house?  I doubt it...

My thoughts exactly as I was driving this stretch of the road just last weekend. Yes two way streets in general are nice, but both Bridgeport and Erb St. are such a zoning mess (single story bungalows in a four lane one way street, really?) that I'm not sure there is anything we can do to make them better. They are too far gone. Let's concentrate in parts of the city where efforts will have more visible rewards (i.e. increased heights in Uptown, rezoning of University Av. between King and Phillip, etc).
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#42
(03-05-2015, 02:01 PM)BuildingScout Wrote: both Bridgeport and Erb St. are such a zoning mess (single story bungalows in a four lane one way street, really?)

Many of those bungalows date back to at least the '40s. The roads were likely converted to one way in the 1950s, when that was the craze. It was almost certainly a case of turning a two-way residential street to a four lane one-way, rather than the other way around.

By the way, conversion of a one-way street to a two-way is not something that requires a lot of focus. It is inexpensive and quick to implement; it's not something that would sap a lot of concentration.
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#43
(03-05-2015, 02:11 PM)MidTowner Wrote: Many of those bungalows date back to at least the '40s. The roads were likely converted to one way in the 1950s, when that was the craze. It was almost certainly a case of turning a two-way residential street to a four lane one-way, rather than the other way around.

Single family bungalows on a four lane two-way street, really?

You see, my point is that the main arteries in the city should never have been zoned residential only. I include in this list King St., University Av., Erb, Bridgeport, Victoria, Westmount and Ottawa St.
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#44
I expect that Bridgeport and Erb would have been widened at some point in the past, too, but I'm not certain about that. I would guess that they were once two-lane streets with houses, and were then widened and converted to one-way traffic. I would be surprised if they originally served as main arterials.

Nevertheless, I don't think any of King Street, University Ave, Victoria, Westmount or Ottawa should be one-way streets. And the amount of traffic on Erb and Bridgeport do not justify a total of eight lanes.
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#45
(03-05-2015, 02:36 PM)MidTowner Wrote: I would be surprised if they originally served as main arterials.

And you'd be wrong. The size of the front yard easements tell the story. They were planned to be wide streets from day one.


(03-05-2015, 02:36 PM)MidTowner Wrote: Nevertheless, I don't think any of King Street, University Ave, Victoria, Westmount or Ottawa should be one-way streets. And the amount of traffic on Erb and Bridgeport do not justify a total of eight lanes.


Huh, where does that come from? I don't see anyone suggesting making those streets one way.
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