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Commuting trends: transit vs driving vs ...
#46
(12-03-2017, 12:14 PM)tomh009 Wrote:
(12-03-2017, 08:54 AM)Pheidippides Wrote: I think it is still too early for me to understand the question, but here is an attempt.

The costs (2016) are broken down this way:
Winter maintenance = $4,322 per lane km or $1.22 per m2 (assuming 3.65m lane width)
Total maintenance cost = $19,138 per lane km or $5.24 per m2 (assuming 3.65m lane width)
Total cost (including amortization, disposal, capital, maintenance) = $32,568 per lane km or $8.92 per m2 (assuming 3.65m lane width)
(...)
Each year, the total non-maintenance costs of the original road is $26,860.
Each year, the total non-maintenance costs of the narrowed road is $26,124.
A difference of $736.

Right.  But what is the incremental cost of rebuilding the street as a narrower one?  That's the up-front cost, which would eventually be paid back in maintenance savings.

I assume you mean rebuilding narrower, as opposed to rebuilding unchanged? I can’t imagine that you would ever rebuild just to lose a tiny bit of width — you would adjust the design when rebuilding anyway.

It seems obvious that rebuilding narrowed should in most cases cost less, so there is no up-front cost, just a small immediate savings, and then small ongoing savings over the years, combined with a small safety increase. The cost is that drivers have to actually watch what their doing and drive at a more reasonable (or less unreasonable) speed.
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#47
I haven't the foggiest. Those are questions for an actuary.

I only used the region as example because that was the one I could find the costing for. The data is there to do it for the city streets too and just assume similar costs.

The point about the winter maintenance is a good one. A large percentage of the cost is labour and machinery, both of which are still needed even if the road is narrower.

A really good example of the difference narrowing makes is the essentially parallel streets of Brock St vs. Homewood Ave.

Brock is a bit more than two car widths wide (~5.5m) and there is hardly any speeding. Homewood is only about a metre wider (~6.5m) and they've had to install 3 speed humps and additional speed limit signage (without much effect).
Everyone move to the back of the bus and we all get home faster.
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#48
(12-03-2017, 12:53 PM)ijmorlan Wrote: I assume you mean rebuilding narrower, as opposed to rebuilding unchanged? I can’t imagine that you would ever rebuild just to lose a tiny bit of width — you would adjust the design when rebuilding anyway.

It seems obvious that rebuilding narrowed should in most cases cost less, so there is no up-front cost, just a small immediate savings, and then small ongoing savings over the years, combined with a small safety increase. The cost is that drivers have to actually watch what their doing and drive at a more reasonable (or less unreasonable) speed.

Correct, at the time of rebuilding.

But is it really less expensive? There is less paving, yes. But it requires new curbs, boulevard repairs, driveway repairs and traffic sign relocations. How much do those cost, as compared to the savings in pavement?
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#49
(12-03-2017, 02:18 PM)tomh009 Wrote:
(12-03-2017, 12:53 PM)ijmorlan Wrote: I assume you mean rebuilding narrower, as opposed to rebuilding unchanged? I can’t imagine that you would ever rebuild just to lose a tiny bit of width — you would adjust the design when rebuilding anyway.

It seems obvious that rebuilding narrowed should in most cases cost less, so there is no up-front cost, just a small immediate savings, and then small ongoing savings over the years, combined with a small safety increase. The cost is that drivers have to actually watch what their doing and drive at a more reasonable (or less unreasonable) speed.

Correct, at the time of rebuilding.

But is it really less expensive? There is less paving, yes. But it requires new curbs, boulevard repairs, driveway repairs and traffic sign relocations. How much do those cost, as compared to the savings in pavement?

I’m assuming that we’re talking about a reasonably comprehensive rebuild that includes the curbs and sidewalks, not just a repaving of the road itself.

I agree that if the alternative is leaving the existing curbs in place, then it could add expense to move them (out or in).

In a lot of cases though what should be dropped is not a few tens of centimetres but entire lanes that are utterly unneeded. There are many roads around the region that have four lanes with no turn lanes. In almost all cases they would be better as two-lane roads with turn lanes where needed. I’m thinking about Union, Belmont, and streets like that where we are paying for four-lane capacity but not getting the benefits of four-lane capacity (and in any case if the road actually had four-lane-capacity traffic, it would be all jammed up due to the absence of appropriate turn lanes). There are probably even cases where the intersections should actually be bigger than they are (ought to have all possible turn lanes) connected to streets that are excessively wide.
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#50
(12-03-2017, 04:01 PM)ijmorlan Wrote: I’m assuming that we’re talking about a reasonably comprehensive rebuild that includes the curbs and sidewalks, not just a repaving of the road itself. I agree that if the alternative is leaving the existing curbs in place, then it could add expense to move them (out or in).

In a lot of cases though what should be dropped is not a few tens of centimetres but entire lanes that are utterly unneeded. There are many roads around the region that have four lanes with no turn lanes. In almost all cases they would be better as two-lane roads with turn lanes where needed. I’m thinking about Union, Belmont, and streets like that where we are paying for four-lane capacity but not getting the benefits of four-lane capacity (and in any case if the road actually had four-lane-capacity traffic, it would be all jammed up due to the absence of appropriate turn lanes). There are probably even cases where the intersections should actually be bigger than they are (ought to have all possible turn lanes) connected to streets that are excessively wide.

Most street rebuilds (at least of non-regional roads) do not replace curbs: it's new pavement and paint, that's it.

Lane removals rather than lane narrowing is a worthwhile discussion, too, but a different one. And the number of streets where lanes can be reasonably removed is probably on the order of maybe 1/50 of the number of streets where lanes could be narrowed.
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#51
(12-03-2017, 07:21 PM)tomh009 Wrote:
(12-03-2017, 04:01 PM)ijmorlan Wrote: I’m assuming that we’re talking about a reasonably comprehensive rebuild that includes the curbs and sidewalks, not just a repaving of the road itself. I agree that if the alternative is leaving the existing curbs in place, then it could add expense to move them (out or in).

In a lot of cases though what should be dropped is not a few tens of centimetres but entire lanes that are utterly unneeded. There are many roads around the region that have four lanes with no turn lanes. In almost all cases they would be better as two-lane roads with turn lanes where needed. I’m thinking about Union, Belmont, and streets like that where we are paying for four-lane capacity but not getting the benefits of four-lane capacity (and in any case if the road actually had four-lane-capacity traffic, it would be all jammed up due to the absence of appropriate turn lanes). There are probably even cases where the intersections should actually be bigger than they are (ought to have all possible turn lanes) connected to streets that are excessively wide.

Most street rebuilds (at least of non-regional roads) do not replace curbs: it's new pavement and paint, that's it.

Lane removals rather than lane narrowing is a worthwhile discussion, too, but a different one. And the number of streets where lanes can be reasonably removed is probably on the order of maybe 1/50 of the number of streets where lanes could be narrowed.

"Most" yes.  But it's actually more complex than that.  Roads have many levels of rebuilding.

Every 15-20 years or so, a road is repaved, which means the top layer of pavement is stripped off and replaced, along with patching of curbs.

Every 30-50 (or longer) years roads are completely torn up to replace utilities.  At this point, curbs are always removed.

And yes, removal of lanes is definitely worth considering, but the public pressure against removing lanes for any reason, but ESPECIALLY for cycling, is insane.  Even totally useless unused lanes.
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#52
(12-03-2017, 09:32 PM)danbrotherston Wrote: And yes, removal of lanes is definitely worth considering, but the public pressure against removing lanes for any reason, but ESPECIALLY for cycling, is insane.  Even totally useless unused lanes.

Agree on that. It might work on Benton St as there is a lot of resident support, but that would be the exception rather than the rule.

Which is why I think trying for narrower streets at rebuild time could be a good initiative. But we need to make a case for that -- for example, with or without curb replacement -- and show a real ROI, in addition to the other benefits of a narrower street. And I would think it would be easier to start with city streets rather than regional roads; in addition to them typically being just two lanes, usually residents want slower traffic so the diet would be easier to support.
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#53
(12-03-2017, 09:41 PM)tomh009 Wrote:
(12-03-2017, 09:32 PM)danbrotherston Wrote: And yes, removal of lanes is definitely worth considering, but the public pressure against removing lanes for any reason, but ESPECIALLY for cycling, is insane.  Even totally useless unused lanes.

Agree on that.  It might work on Benton St as there is a lot of resident support, but that would be the exception rather than the rule.

Which is why I think trying for narrower streets at rebuild time could be a good initiative. But we need to make a case for that -- for example, with or without curb replacement -- and show a real ROI, in addition to the other benefits of a narrower street. And I would think it would be easier to start with city streets rather than regional roads; in addition to them typically being just two lanes, usually residents want slower traffic so the diet would be easier to support.

I think some effort should also be made at framing the change as a traffic capacity increase. For example, unless they’ve screwed up some details, King St. southbound at Erb now has higher capacity than it did before the recent rebuild, since there is a lane dedicated to through traffic and not blocked by left-turning traffic. Previously there was no useable through lane. Usually intersections are the bottlenecks, not the sections of road between intersections.

Also good point about residents and City vs. Region. I think most of the really absurd cases I’m thinking of are probably city streets, and also have houses on them who would probably like to have slower traffic in front of them. Another point to consider would be leaving the curb lane in place but turning it into parking only, enforced with re-design of the space near intersections so the curb bumps out to mark the end of the parking area and making it hard to use the parking lane as a traffic lane. This wouldn’t actually save on construction, but would give most of the safety benefits of narrowing the road and get people used to the idea of having fewer traffic lanes.
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#54
Minor nitpick: cars turning left from King SB onto EB Erb didn’t block traffic. You could still go straight though in the right lane.
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
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#55
(12-04-2017, 07:15 AM)Canard Wrote: Minor nitpick: cars turning left from King SB onto EB Erb didn’t block traffic. You could still go straight though in the right lane.

In theory, yes. In practice vehicles turning left, combined with the exact layout of the intersection, often prevented straight-through traffic from proceeding. This was especially true for buses which had trouble getting around the left-turning vehicles. Whenever I was turning left there I always made a point of putting myself extremely far to the left, often slightly over the yellow line (which didn’t line up with the yellow line on the other side of Erb). And of course once a bus or truck is stuck, throughput goes to 0.
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