While licking my mental wounds from blog loss this morning, here’s a little something I found pertaining to downtown Burque changes from red lights to stop signs at several junctures, particularly Silver.
It’s a memo from the traffic engineering firm Parametrix to the City of Albuquerque from June of this year. I found it via the good ‘ol Google; KRQE linked to it in a story on the changes (nice job, KRQE!, imagine that ABQ media outlets..you can link to things in the online versions of your stories!).
Apologies for not having pointed this memo out sooner, but the most interesting aspect of this memo is really the subsequent work and which recommendations have and have not been followed by the City of Albuquerque. For instance, here’s a graphic showing what Parametrix advised regarding placement of stop signs and red lights in the area around Silver:
Note the recommendation is for two-way stops along the north/south streets along Silver, not four-way stops. As you can see below, at Silver and 4th, this isn’t what is being installed/tested:
In the text of the memo, Parametrix states the following for why two-way stops are recommended:
Because Silver Avenue is designated as a bicycle boulevard, the recommendation is to control these intersections with partial stop control (on the north‐south streets only).
Even as a “hard-core cycling advocate,” I can think of arguments for not following this recommendation, most pointed being the probable result of cars simply zooming down Silver. The memo notes that car traffic on Silver isn’t much now, but who knows if that might change given the Silver International Speedway status resulting from two-way stops being installed. Slowing us all down, cyclists included, downtown isn’t necessarily a bad idea.
More than anything, the Parametrix memo and resultant installation work is worth pointing out as reflection on how public policy goes from recommendation to decision-making to practice. In mentioning it here, BB isn’t saying the decision made was wrong, only that it’s interesting, in really the best and most fun objectively sense of the word, how the public policy process works.
P.S.: Just to keep the evolution from initial study to secondary study to decision-making to practice, here’s Jeff Speck 2012 downtown walkability study that first led to the ideas being enacted now: