Hi! I’m looking forward to tomorrow morning’s meeting at 8:30. Steve, THANK YOU for setting up the WebEx for those of us who can’t be there in person.
I’d like to add another topic to the list of issues the TAP Steering Committee gets to discuss: how cars pick up speed once autos they leave downtown traveling north on N Broadway. I believe the posted speed limit is 25, but I think the median speed is something more like 35, based on what I have observed.
The subject line “Speed Kills” was intended to get your attention. But there’s a plethora of studies that back up this headline noting that the faster cars go, the more likely it is that serious injuries and fatalities will result. For example, the chance of severe injury from a pedestrian/car accident drops by about half when cars drive at 25 instead of 30 mph. Here’s what the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has to say on the subject:
Results show that the average risk of severe injury for a pedestrian struck by a vehicle reaches
10% at an impact speed of 16 mph,
25% at 23 mph,
50% at 31 mph,
75% at 39 mph, and
90% at 46 mph.
The average risk of death for a pedestrian reaches 10% at an impact speed of 23 mph, 25% at 32 mph, 50% at 42 mph, 75% at 50 mph, and 90% at 58 mph. Risks vary significantly by age. For example, the average risk of severe injury or death for a 70-year-old pedestrian struck by a car travelling at 25 mph is similar to the risk for a 30-year-old pedestrian struck at 35 mph.
I’m raising this because there’s not really much reason to exceed 25 mph in a one square mile village that prides itself on walkability. It’s an issue that interferes with our implementing the spirit of the TAP grant because parents are loathe to let their kids bike on N Broadway and with good reason: many motorists feel entitled to drive the speed limit +5. But 35 doesn’t feel unsafe in a car, and there’s no law enforcement around, so why not go a little bit faster? So it’s not unusual to find someone driving 35-40, too.
With our keen and appropriate focus on South Broadway’s business district, I didn’t want the opportunity to slip by to talk about improving N Broadway transportation alternatives, too.
If this is a good idea, we are following in the footsteps of other municipalities who are also thinking big. Like NYC’s Vision Zero initiative to lower city speed limits to 25 mph as well as introduce traffic design features to make life safer for people who get around without cars.
Are there traffic calming things we can consider for North Broadway? And, if we can make the case that this is a good thing, is it something that *eventually* we might want to invite Upper Nyack to consider doing, too? (I know that was an over reach. But we are supposed to be thinking big, right? :>)
In researching this, I also ran across New York Feb 2012 Complete Street’s Law. Doesn’t this apply to this project?
- Requires consideration of complete street design features for projects undertaken by the Department of Transportation, municipalities and public authorities that receive both state and federal funding and are subject to department of transportation oversight.
- Requires consideration of convenient access and mobility on the road network by all users of all ages, including motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists, and public transportation users.included, but not limited to Sidewalk, Share the road signage, Crosswalks, Lane striping, Curb cuts, Bicycle lanes, Road diets, Bus pull outs, Pedestrian control signalization Raised crosswalks and ramps
Which brings me to my final question: Is there a plan to put a bike lane on N Broadway? Or North Franklin? Or do all of the N/S bike initiatives stop at Main Street? N Broadway would appear to qualify for all of the above if Complete Streets is part of a mandate we are supposed to be following for state/federal monies.
THANKS for letting me add this idea to our list of things to talk about.
Have a great day and talk with all of you tomorrow!