Thursday, December 13, 2007

Even with the warning signs, these traffic calming islands are wrong for this climate

At Least It's Marked Now, but It's Still Wrong for This Climate
More news about the traffic calming islands on Madison's Edgewood Avenue, which disappear from view and become invisible when it snows. They've finally put up warning markers -- but problems remain. Madison's Channel 3 reported yesterday on the nightmares for snowplow drivers created by the obstacles.
"First of all, when you see them, you don't see them, and you hit them and it jars the whole truck," Endres said.

He said that missing a traffic island can bounce a driver through the roof of his truck. He called that "teeth shattering."

But he added that even those traffic calming devices that are plainly marked pose a challenge.

At one roundabout Wednesday, Endres demonstrated how his plow could not go around it correctly -- it wouldn't fit. He had to stop and back up, clogging traffic. He ended up making an illegal left turn in front of the roundabout just to continue his route.
Check out Channel 3's video report here.

If you ask me, the traffic calming roundabouts are a triumph of good intentions over common sense, of manipulative traffic engineering ideology over the realities of climate. They just don't belong here.

1 comment:

Dr Bud "Cloverleaf" Diablo said...

MadGuy, after years of futile fulimating about Bush and his ilk, I think you've found your niche as a Traffic Activist--sort of a Ralph Nader of the Roadways. You actually got some action on the submerged traffic island, nuts-o as the remedy might be.

Paul Fussell, among others, has argued that the shift of university teaching from the classic "liberal education" to technical/professional training causes many of these ridiculous snafus. From history, eg, you learn what has happened and develop "historical imagination"--the ability to foresee what might happen. Techno-types, in contrast, just build buildings or lay down traffic islands "by the book," with little ability to foresee and adapt to circumstances.

Until now, I've done nothing but seethe when jarred by Madison potholes. Now I have a voice. You'll be hearing from me.

Dr Bud "Left Lane Ends" Diablo.