“Right to Go Left” Streets in Houston could reduce Traffic
Here’s a clever intersection design simulation for the intersection at Highway 6 and Westheimer. Such a design would save drivers 46.5 seconds and reduce car accidents.
Original story “Realistic Mobility Strategies” written by Tory Gattis in Houston Strategies.
Did you know that in San Diego, for example, an expanded bus and rail transit system is planned to receive more than half of the $48.4 billion in total highway and transit spending through 2050. Yet transit would increase its share of travel to a measly 4% from its current tiny 2%, according to data in the San Diego Association of Governments regional transportation plan. This slight increase in mass transit ridership would be swamped by higher traffic volumes.
Higher population densities in the future means greater traffic congestion, because additional households in the future will continue to use their cars for most trips. In the San Diego metropolitan area, where the average one-way work trip travel time is 28 minutes, only 14% of work and higher education locations could be reached within 30 minutes by transit in 2050. But 70% or more of such locations will continue to be accessible in 30 minutes by car.
“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: any urban area that did most of it’s growth in the post-WW2 automotive era is simply not going to be transit friendly, and that cannot be substantially changed. Yes, you can create a few New Urbanist neighborhoods around a light rail line, but they will always be trivial in the overall context of the metro area.
That said, there’s a lot that can be done to make simple bus transit much more attractive in these urban areas (and it’s already dramatically more affordable than rail), as this Salon article “It’s time to love the bus” describes: