Thanks in part to FHWA releasing this document, roadway design flexibility has become a popular catch phrase in professional transportation circles. The basic idea is that engineers are smart people who should use good judgment and common sense when designing streets and highways.
At the philosophical level, the message has successfully spread. At the practical level, not so much. For local and state infrastructure owners/operators, flexible design is still viewed as a fringe–almost extreme–concept. It is not yet mainstream. Where’s the proof? In most of our neighborhood streets and suburban corridors.
Before watching the short clip below, know this: the speed limit is posted at 35 MPH and a significant number of residents do not own their own vehicle. Watching activity from this vantage point is not unlike a life-size Frogger game (here’s the scoop on Frogger for you young Gen Y’ers).
For any of you transport wonks out there who take sick pleasure in photographing examples of unsafe streets, Elly Blue has a contest you will enjoy. Here is my entry, taken just up the street from the video embedded above.