Our Deadly Streets Seek Redesign
Guest Post By Kathy
The city streets of Eureka have become outdated and hazardous. H Street and I Street are both problematic. These fast paced streets are difficult to cross. Cars parked along the curb hamper visibility while the single direction three lane design encourages drivers to increase their speed. Two-way streets have a different effect on traffic flow. They modify traffic speed and turn accident filled areas into neighborhoods again
Many towns and cities are changing one way streets back into two way streets. The benefit of this a slower safer more attentive flow of traffic. Often bike paths or lanes are included in the new design to encourage healthier transportation choices.
At the time most of our one way streets were created traffic engineers were taught to consider only moving the most cars, the traffic, from one point to another quickly and safely. Transportation engineers are now looking more broadly at road design. Moving cars quickly is being replaced by evaluating the overall effect the road has on the neighborhood it runs through.
In Vancouver Washington business picked up their downtown area when the main road was changed from one way to two ways. Contrary to their fear that doing so would cause congestion they found that it created increased sales for business in the area and that pedestrian traffic increased as well. Before changing the road they had tried many things to enliven their downtown district, many of them costly, but it was only by changing the traffic flow that they saw an increase in business in the area.
The Eureka City Council has tasked the Transportation Safety Commission with developing a Transportation Safety Plan that will address how to make our streets safer for everyone; bicycles, pedestrians and cars. They have been working on the Plan for four years and the public has yet to see even a rough draft. Hopefully, the new City Manager will take an interest in seeing this plan completed and become a part of the updated Generall Plan that the Council will begin working on soon.
It’s time for people to stop being injured and killed on the streets of Eureka in such outrageously high numbers.