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Walking in Waterloo Region
(10-15-2018, 03:46 PM)KevinL Wrote: Sorry, Xiaoming, but I must disagree harshly. Overpasses and underpasses are a concession to traffic, to give up the road to the use of cars only. They place an undue burden on the pedestrian to climb the grade difference to simply get across a street, and are very unfair to anyone using wheels (whether disabled, pushing a stroller, or managing a shopping trolley).

One need only look at the abject failure of Portage and Main in Winnipeg to see how unsuccessful such a design can be.

Done right overpasses can help pedestrians. If using them is easier than staying on the surface (and not just because the surface has massive fences blocking access), they are helpful and people will use them. But that requires long ramps as somebody else pointed out, and the ramps can’t switch back and forth; they have to be part of approaching the intersection. In other locations, they can connect directly into buildings. So I don’t think it’s appropriate to characterize overpasses as always being bad for pedestrians, but clearly in many situations they are. In particular, I don’t see how it could be done at University and King without building an enormous structure. It would have to be something like a flat “ramp” from Hazel and University, then long actual ramps leading down away from the intersection on both sides of every approach — a total of 8 substantial approach structures, together with a large square, “X”, or circular structure over the intersection itself. Not feasible.
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(10-15-2018, 03:22 PM)Xiaoming Wrote: Intersections are the bottlenecks of our city roads. The speed of the throughput of the intersections restricts the speed of the entire network of city traffic. The best solution is to build overhead or underground passes for pedestrians to separate pedestrians from the traffic at the intersections.  Overhead or underground passes for pedestrians at the intersections will increase the efficiency of entire city transportation.

Xiaoming Guo, Kitchener Candidate for the School Board Trustee.

I've got to say, I couldn't disagree with you more.  There are so many issues with doing what you're saying, none more than the fact that you're saying to pedestrians, you don't matter, you're second class citizens, you have to go out of the way because cars are more important than you.
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(10-15-2018, 06:35 PM)Spokes Wrote: I've got to say, I couldn't disagree with you more.  There are so many issues with doing what you're saying, none more than the fact that you're saying to pedestrians, you don't matter, you're second class citizens, you have to go out of the way because cars are more important than you.

I don't know if I read it that way. If we are willing to commit the (significant) funding to such an endeavor; it could be said pedestrian safety is a priority.
_____________________________________
I used to be the mayor of sim city. I know what I am talking about.
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Shoot, where did I put my popcorn?
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
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(10-15-2018, 06:45 PM)Drake Wrote:
(10-15-2018, 06:35 PM)Spokes Wrote: I've got to say, I couldn't disagree with you more.  There are so many issues with doing what you're saying, none more than the fact that you're saying to pedestrians, you don't matter, you're second class citizens, you have to go out of the way because cars are more important than you.

I don't know if I read it that way. If we are willing to commit the (significant) funding to such an endeavor; it could be said pedestrian safety is a priority.

The intent could go either way, I think many people do believe that grade separation is a good solution--and in some cases it is.

But it is definitely the case that grade separation is an expensive last resort, when everything else has failed.  It often leads to large oppressive structures that impede pedestrians, or even more expensive oppressive structures that raise or lower cars out of the way, that while they impede pedestrians less, still breaks up the landscape.

It does work better in some places, but while University/King is a big intersection, it has limited setbacks on two sides, and is relatively urban compared with places where grade separation is more feasible (think Homer-Watson/Ottawa, which, sadly, is a ship that has already sailed).

Moreover, fixing King/University and leaving the other nearby intersections problematic doesn't help the greater problem.

I believe there are better solutions, and rethinking the entire University Ave corridor, to make it a more pedestrian friendly throughout the entire corridor, recognizing that the road serves more purposes than moving cars would be the right approach.
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(10-15-2018, 03:49 PM)neonjoe Wrote: For accessibility those would be HUGE as to have ramps long enough to get to the height where it could be over or under traffic. But the extra distance for pedestrians to travel will pretty much make it so no one uses them.

How many people have you seen in the overpass at university by UW Engineering, compare that to the number of people crossing at the pedestrian crosswalk.

You wouldn't do ramps for an overpass; need to have an elevator on either side to make it accessible.

University Ave traffic at UW is still relatively light so people do the Frogger thing and dodge traffic. In Tokyo overpasses are everywhere for the major roads, and they do get used. But it really depends on the amount of traffic.
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I was amazed at just how little traffic there was in Tokyo (or Japan in general). Almost no one drives... because there’s no need because trains are literally everywhere (it’s heaven).
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
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(10-16-2018, 03:53 AM)tomh009 Wrote: You wouldn't do ramps for an overpass; need to have an elevator on either side to make it accessible.

That’s my point. It needs to be ramps, and the ramps need to go in the direction people are going anyway. This way using the bridge is just a matter of taking a hill at a different point than one would staying on the ground and it’s not a detour.

If stairs or an elevator are involved, it’s a detour. In some circumstances this might be OK, but not in general as a replacement for a traffic light.

At University it would help if the lights were motor vehicle activated rather than button activated. The lights could be green for the path until a vehicle comes, then turn. I’ve mentioned it before: two sets of sensors in each direction, one well in advance of the crossing so that in low-traffic conditions the light is turning green just as the vehicle approaches the crossing; and another right at the crossing so vehicles can’t get stuck at a red that never ends. Lights would only be green for vehicles when vehicles are there (subject to a maximum, of course), resulting in much more green time for the path.
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I think ramped pedestrian bridges (to cross streets) are exceedingly rare everywhere due to the need for (usually four!) very long ramps.

Elevator as a detour? Yes, you might need to wait for it. But you might need to wait for a traffic light, too. And in many cities (able-bodied) pedestrians don't have any issues with using stairs.
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(10-16-2018, 06:52 PM)tomh009 Wrote: I think ramped pedestrian bridges (to cross streets) are exceedingly rare everywhere due to the need for (usually four!) very long ramps.

Elevator as a detour? Yes, you might need to wait for it. But you might need to wait for a traffic light, too. And in many cities (able-bodied) pedestrians don't have any issues with using stairs.

Four, try eight, at a standard four arm intersection.

Although many places where overpasses are used, not all legs have ramps, which is something which makes overpasses more feasible, so two or four may be more common.

Elevators are extremely expensive to operate and maintain.
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Right, I was thinking of just a street crossing rather than an intersection.

In Tokyo, where pedestrian bridges are very common, I cannot recall seeing one with an accessible ramp. Occasionally elevators or escalators, but most often stairs only. Pedestrians who cannot cope with stairs need to go the next crosswalk or traffic light instead.
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I love pedestrian bridges.

But, with accessibility rules being what they are, they are a non-starter here. At best, you can build Toronto PATH-like systems that can piggyback off of building's elevators.

It's a shame they really screwed up the placement of the existing one over University. The only people it's convenient for are those coming from the parking lot.

Everyone is talking about University/Seagram for a scramble, but the one I really want to see is University/Philip! Shorter diagonal crossing distance, and it really is the desire line for a large number of students in the Lester St towers.
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I hadn't thought of university and segram, that would make sense

Someone on Twitter yesterday said that there should be one at King and John. Not sure about that.
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(10-16-2018, 10:37 PM)Markster Wrote: It's a shame they really screwed up the placement of the existing one over University.  The only people it's convenient for are those coming from the parking lot.

Everyone is talking about University/Seagram for a scramble, but the one I really want to see is University/Philip! Shorter diagonal crossing distance, and it really is the desire line for a large number of students in the Lester St towers.

Indeed!  It's a good example of compromise failure, where compromise is ''bad for everyone" instead of "balancing everyone's needs"

Are we talking about Seagram?  I was suggesting King/University.  King/Phillip is also a good contender but King/Seagram unusually have little trouble with.
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(10-16-2018, 08:48 PM)tomh009 Wrote: In Tokyo, where pedestrian bridges are very common, I cannot recall seeing one with an accessible ramp. Occasionally elevators or escalators, but most often stairs only. Pedestrians who cannot cope with stairs need to go the next crosswalk or traffic light instead.

Your example from Japan highlights an overrunning difference in cultures; in North America, we believe that every piece of infra must be built to accommodate everyone at every stage in life, with any disability whatsoever. In Japan, families and others are expected to help out and look after each other. There is virtually no infra whatsoever to help those in wheelchairs, for example - but people are so polite and willing to help you’ll see total strangers lifting a wheelchair up stairs to help someone out.
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
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