New VTA Policy (2003): Community Design and Transportation
VTA's "Community Design and Transportation" document (dated 2003, and approved Nov. 7, 2002 by the VTA Board)
has important portions that are relevant to repeal of remaining pedestrian prohibitions along "expressway" arterial roads. Excerpts are quoted here:
- Quote: "This pattern, based on a hierarchy of streets, forces all trips onto the arterial
network without regard for their ultimate destination, whether by car, foot, or bicycle."
[chapter 4, page 3, column 2]
[See the Street Connectivity section, scanned page 4-3 (with graphic)
and page 4-4]
- Quote: "The circuitous nature of the [hierarchical] route make driving more convenient than walking.
[chapter 4, page 3, column 2 (scanned)]
Another example is a short walk versus a one-half to one mile detour when banning an "expressway" arterial road.
- Quote: "Driveway reductions also improve pedestrian and bicycle safety, enhance the walking
environment, ... " [chapter 4, page 18, column 2.]
This is another reason why expressways are safer for pedestrians and bicycles than regular
arterials --there are almost no driveways. (See driveway-conflict accidents, bottom of page.)
- Quote: "Enable people to accomplish daily activities by foot, bike or transit in equal comfort to doing so by car."
[chapter 1, page 4, column 1]
This opposes the long detours forced upon walkers by the remaining prohibitions (on San Tomas and Foothill).
- Quote: "Fundamentally, the Community Design and Transportation Program calls for change,
change across multiple
disciplines, from design to finance to engineering, each of which has overlapping importance to other disciplines." [chapter 1 page 3, column 2.]
That's right, change
in highway/traffic engineering thinking is needed. MTS has been saying this since the 1980s. (See goals of highway/traffic engineers.)
THE FOLLOWING QUOTES APPLY ESPECIALLY TO COUNTY HIGHWAY ENGINEERS REGARDING "EXPRESSWAY" ARTERIAL ROADS
- Figure 4-24 (chapter 4, page 37) depicts a right turning vehicle while the
driver is looking left. This is why it is important to trim shrubbery at intersection areas to enable pedestrians to be off the
trajectory of right-turning motor vehicles until the curb is parallel to the
- Quote: "Drivers waiting to turn right are looking left for gaps in traffic and fail to see pedestrians to their right." [chapter 4, page 38, column 1.]
That's explicit. This
statement describes one reason for the accident that occurred on Capitol Expy in 1992. The other reason was that the County highway engineers
flat-out refused to create a path as required by the 1991 policy adopted by the County Board of Supervisors, to trim shrubbery at expressway intersection areas for walkers' safety.
- Figure 4-16 (chapter 4, page 24) shows that a
minimum path width for "Single pedestrian through traffic" is 1'10" to 3'.
So, two feet is adequate. This means
that for not much work, primarily trimming brush, pedestrian safety can be greatly improved at intersection areas. To encourage walking, this can be done
for for the entire road. (See the BOS order to create paths on all expressways on 8/20/91).
- Figure 4-4 [chapter 4, page 6] shows that expressways meet
all the AASHTO specifications for 'arterials' category.
So, expressways are arterials, and using the first quote (above), the corollary is that "pedestrians are
forced onto expressways."
MISC. QUOTE shows why expressway arterial roads are essential for efficient pedestrian and transit patron travel:
- Quote: "Utilize alleys when designing new street networks in commercial and residential developments." [chapter 4, page 14.]
If this had been done
for the past 50 years, or if a grid street pattern would have been used in expressway corridors, it could be logical for not including pedestrians on expressways (not because
expressways are unsafe, but because the pedestrians would take the more pleasant route). Lack of alleys in combination with the hierarchical street pattern
is what prevents using streets that are just one block
away. The winding, random and intermittent street patterns on both sides of expressways have not been
augmented by alleys to allow straight-through pedestrian traffic. This prevents using streets that are
next to expressways, often separated by the property lot depth of just one residential unit.
The VTA policy confirms MTS' statements and will be beneficial for repeal of prohibitory ordinances.
This VTA policy document has not been uploaded to the Internet so no link is provided. It is a one-inch thick, well-illustrated document. Copies were given to cities
(probably the planning department) and are available from VTA.
For a comprehensive report from MTS, see Analyses of Pedestrians along Expressways
Also see: Expressway topics, links page.
home page |
about MTS |
HOV lanes |
Bay Bridge |
Allow Pedestrians! |