Saturday, August 26, 2017

One-Way Street Signage - FAIL

Street name signs, like the rest of the street, are often designed only with drivers in mind.  The results do not always work well for pedestrians.

At many intersections, the street name signs are located on the signal mast arms.  If it is a one-way street, the street name signs are often installed only facing the approaching traffic.  However, pedestrians approach from both directions, keeping the name of the cross street a mystery for the half of pedestrians walking opposite traffic.

This problem is not limited to remote suburbs.


Topeka, Kansas
Pedestrians walking south on Jackson Street have no idea what cross street they are approaching in front of the Kansas State Capitol.

Indianapolis, Indiana
Pedestrians walking north on Capitol Avenue don't know the streets they are crossing as they approach the Indiana Statehouse.

Cheyenne, Wyoming
Pedestrians walking north on Central Avenue can't tell what street is between them and the Wyoming State Capitol.  The Capitol Building is undergoing renovation, but the Wyoming DOT street sign policy needs modernization as well.

Lincoln, Nebraska
Pedestrians walking west on K Street are unable to tell which street they are about to cross on the way to the Nebraska State Capitol.  Nebraska has the nation's only unicameral legislature, but  Nebraska needs a bidirectional street sign policy.

Jackson, Mississippi
Pedestrians walking south on West Street see the back of the eagle on the top of the Mississippi State Capitol dome.  They also see the back of the sign that would tell them what street they are about to cross if it faced both directions.


Springfield, Illinois
Pedestrian-oriented blade signs supplement the mast arm signs on a one-way street by the Illinois State Capitol.  We can't say if the legislators inside know where they are going, but at least pedestrians walking by can tell where they are.

Curving Sidewalk - FAIL

Sometimes a misguided designer decides to create a curving sidewalk instead of a straight one to make it prettier.  They are forgetting that people are walking on sidewalks to get somewhere.

Here is a curving sidewalk in Leawood, Kansas, and the account of a blind pedestrian who finds it very problematic:

"Many new sidewalks are being replaced [without] the thought of the blind persons, like myself that depend and must navigate on them to/from daily for the past decade. Last year they put in an artistically crazy curvy sidewalk in front of the Leawood Justice Center between my home and my church. It's a nightmare and I curse just thinking about it. It's a total injustice to the blind or visually impaired.

"Frustrated and Stranded with my white cane in Leawood, Kansas!"

Monday, August 14, 2017

Perils For Pedestrians 250: Tennessee DOT

We visit Nashville to learn about the Tennessee Department of Transportation.  We talk with:

  • The Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator.
  • The Multimodal Planning Office Supervisor.
  • The Deputy Commissioner, Chief of Environment and Planning.

Perils For Pedestrians 249: Las Cruces Part 3

We travel to Las Cruces, New Mexico.

  • We meet the chair of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Facilities Advisory Committee.
  • We talk with the head of a new transit system.
  • The public gives input to a new comprehensive plan.
  • A walker enjoys meeting people on transit.

Perils For Pedestrians 248: Las Cruces Part 2

We visit Las Cruces, New Mexico.

  • We talk with a former city councilor about development and pedestrians.
  • We learn about Health Impact Assessments.
  • A report studied access to trails and parks in Dona Ana County.
  • We look at the needs of poor and homeless pedestrians.

Perils For Pedestrians 247: Las Cruces Part 1

We travel to Las Cruces, New Mexico.

  • Children bike to school at Mesilla Elementary.
  • Some parents bike with them.
  • We learn about the Safe Routes to School Coalition.
  • We talk with a city council member about pedestrians.
  • We meet the president of a local Volkssport club.