Gretchen Quarterman at the
Amtrak Station, Jesup, Georgia, 17 and 25 Feb 2011,
along with a bunch of women from Brunswick on their annual outing to NYC, and around a dozen other passengers.
Videos by John S. Quarterman.
Asked about typical modern shopping corridors, Texas A&M Assistant Professor of
Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning
Eric Dumbaugh replied:
“from a traffic safety perspective, the modern commercial arterial is a perfect storm of bad planning and design. These roads are designed to support high operating speeds, making it difficult for drivers to stop quickly to avoid a crash, and the presence of commercial and retail uses on these roads means that drivers will routinely need to stop quickly in order to avoid crashing into pedestrians, bicyclists, and especially vehicles turning in and out of driveways.”
Proposals for planting rows of trees along the roads — a traditional technique for shaping pleasing public spaces — are often opposed by transportation engineers, who contend that a wide travel corridor, free of obstacles, is needed to protect the lives of errant motorists.
Increasingly, however, the engineers’ beliefs about safety are being subjected to empirical study and are being found incorrect. Eric Dumbaugh, an assistant professor of transportation at Texas A&M, threw down the gauntlet with a long, carefully argued article,
”Safe Streets, Livable Streets,”
in the Summer 2005 issue of the Journal of the American Planning Association. A follow-up article by Dumbaugh, in the 2006 edition of Transportation Research Record, will present further evidence that safe urban roadsides are not what the traffic-engineering establishment thinks they are.
Though engineers generally assert that wide clear areas safeguard motorists who run off the roads, Dumbaugh looked at accident records and found that, on the contrary, wide-open corridors encourage motorists to speed, bringing on more crashes. By contrast, tree-lined roadways cause motorists to slow down and drive more carefully, Dumbaugh says.
Dumbaugh examined crash statistics and found that tree-lined streets experience fewer accidents than do “forgiving roadsides” — those that have been kept free of large, inflexible objects. He points to “a growing body of evidence suggesting that the inclusion of trees and other streetscape features in the roadside environment may actually reduce crashes and injuries on urban roadways.”
So we were riding our bicycles today, and Gretchen got a phone call from Carolyn saying WCTV (Channel 6, Tallahassee/Thomasville) was at her house and wanted an interview, but she was at work and couldn't do it. Gretchen rode down there, and this is the result: Slowing Down Speeders, by Deneige Broom:
Quarterman Road in Hahira was paved within the last year.
Some people who live there say people drive faster than the posted 35 miles per hour limit.
The Georgia Department of Transportation says this type of paving is safe for up to 45 miles per hour.
Lowndes County agreed to lower the speed limit to 35 miles per hour after they heard concerns from residents.
Since GDOT says the 45 mile per hour is acceptable, a posted speed limit of 35 can't be enforced without approval.
Residents just want something done.
"We had drag racers out here a few weeks ago, two corvettes speed racing side by side up and down the road," said Gretchen Quarterman who lives on the road. "It's a neighborhood, we have 30 families that live on this road, they have small children."
How did WCTV hear about this?
They saw our neighbor Carolyn on YouTube:
In his comments, LaHood tried hard not to criticize Georgia policy makers directly. “I’m not going to pretend to tell Georgia what to do,” he said repeatedly.
But rather than criticize the lack of planning and support for high-speed rail in Georgia, he offered examples of regions elsewhere that “get it.”
“The Northeast (high-speed rail) corridor has its act together,” LaHood said. “The Midwest corridor has its act together. The governors there have set aside their own egos and their own ambitions” to work together on bringing high-speed rail to those regions.
LaHood made no mention of the stark contrast to the Southeast, where our governors are too busy posturing to discuss resolution of the ongoing water wars, let alone high-speed rail.
Ain't that the truth.
The best part is in a comment:
You see the state legislature wants to control the tax revenues from metro
Atlanta so they can spend them in Hahira, Rome, Valdosta, etc., etc.
Antwhere but metro Atlanta.
Ah, Atlanta! Just more important than anywhere else!
You know, if Atlanta cooperated in creating a rail plan for the entire state,
such as for example the long-established rail corridor from Chattanooga
through Atlanta, Macon, Tifton, Hahira, and Valdosta to Jacksonville and
Orlando, we might actually get rail in Georgia.
It doesn't have to all be high speed.
If I could take a regular passenger train to Atlanta, I sure would,
instead of having to drive or squeeze into an ASA toothpaste tube.