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Walking in Waterloo Region
(10-17-2018, 06:56 AM)Canard Wrote: 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.

Which is why it's foolish to simply take an idea that works elsewhere and expect it to work equally well outside of its context.
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(10-17-2018, 06:54 AM)danbrotherston Wrote:
(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.

I'd initially suggested King and University too.  Logical because the diagonal would be useful just as much as the other directions.  University and Segram, just seems like students are crossing University.
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(10-17-2018, 07:58 AM)Spokes Wrote: I'd initially suggested King and University too.  Logical because the diagonal would be useful just as much as the other directions.  University and Segram, just seems like students are crossing University.

University and Seagram is not a good location. Almost everybody who needs to cross both ways is going to/from campus, and can “cross” Seagram north of Ring Road. Pedestrian scrambles are highly beneficial where there is a lot of demand for crossing both streets right at that particular crossing location, or at least very high demand for crossing each street individually. At Seagram, people coming from campus can just pick the appropriate crossing of Ring Road to end up on the correct side of Seagram. I haven’t camped out at the intersection and counted, but I predict that a detailed study would show few people crossing Seagram at University.
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University/King is the most problematic pedestrian intersection I regularly traverse. It is the only case where I routinely have drivers intentionally force their way past pedestrians who have the right of way. Not every driver, not every light, but probably once a week, I experience an occurrence where the light turns green, and the right turning driver turns through the crowd of people waiting to walk, even though that crowd is plenty apparent waiting for the light. WRPS could make a killing here if they cared to ticket for it (piddly little ticket though it is).

Regardless, I think this would make the intersection well suited to both an IPS and a scramble. Regional staff seem willing to consider an IPS, but outright refuse to consider a scramble. For the life of me, I don't know why, that intersection apparently has some performance issues, largely because cars can't easily turn right due to pedestrian volumes, and as a result, block the intersection because there is no right turn lane, a scramble would fix this, and yet, no willingness to consider.

Frankly, I cannot understand some Regional staff, they seem extremely set in their ways, and willing to justify any decision, no matter how bizarre.
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(10-17-2018, 08:40 PM)danbrotherston Wrote: University/King is the most problematic pedestrian intersection I regularly traverse.  It is the only case where I routinely have drivers intentionally force their way past pedestrians who have the right of way.  Not every driver, not every light, but probably once a week, I experience an occurrence where the light turns green, and the right turning driver turns through the crowd of people waiting to walk, even though that crowd is plenty apparent waiting for the light.  WRPS could make a killing here if they cared to ticket for it (piddly little ticket though it is).

Based on my observations (as a driver mostly), I'm SHOCKED it's only once a week.  I feel like I see it almost every time I'm there.

(10-17-2018, 08:40 PM)danbrotherston Wrote: Regardless, I think this would make the intersection well suited to both an IPS and a scramble.  Regional staff seem willing to consider an IPS, but outright refuse to consider a scramble. For the life of me, I don't know why, that intersection apparently has some performance issues, largely because cars can't easily turn right due to pedestrian volumes, and as a result, block the intersection because there is no right turn lane, a scramble would fix this, and yet, no willingness to consider.

Forgive my ignorance, what's an IPS?

I didn't know scrambles had been suggested before, sad they don't consider them.


(10-17-2018, 08:40 PM)danbrotherston Wrote: Frankly, I cannot understand some Regional staff, they seem extremely set in their ways, and willing to justify any decision, no matter how bizarre.

I know staffers dont change with an election, but this is the kind of transformational change that needs to happen.  We need leaders willing to take a shot and do something new.
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I think others have discredited the notion of ramps or tunnels enough.

As busy as King and University is, it is not busy enough to warrant a scramble. Even Toronto, with much heavier pedestrian volumes shut down/reverted a scramble because it did not demonstrate enough benefit to pedestrians.

The King and University Intersection could be greatly improved by other means:
-tightening the turning radiuses forces drivers to slow down and shortens crossing distances
-narrowing lanes also shortens crossing distances and people drive slower
-adding refuge islands, and
-add leading pedestrian intervals on all the signal phases.

Also, although they too don't have enough pedestrian volume to warrant a scramble I think the Caroline/Erb intersection and Courtland/Stirling could be implemented with great benefit to the pedestrians that do use them without over-penalizing vehicles on the road.

For example, Caroline/Erb could have looked like this (also assumes two-way conversion of Caroline/Bridgeport and Erb) - especially with the Ion coming through every 4 minutes:
   
Everyone move to the back of the bus and we all get home faster.
Reply
(10-17-2018, 09:36 PM)Spokes Wrote:
(10-17-2018, 08:40 PM)danbrotherston Wrote: University/King is the most problematic pedestrian intersection I regularly traverse.  It is the only case where I routinely have drivers intentionally force their way past pedestrians who have the right of way.  Not every driver, not every light, but probably once a week, I experience an occurrence where the light turns green, and the right turning driver turns through the crowd of people waiting to walk, even though that crowd is plenty apparent waiting for the light.  WRPS could make a killing here if they cared to ticket for it (piddly little ticket though it is).

Based on my observations (as a driver mostly), I'm SHOCKED it's only once a week.  I feel like I see it almost every time I'm there.

I'm being pretty generous and only counting the times that I personal experience being nearly run down.

Quote:
(10-17-2018, 08:40 PM)danbrotherston Wrote: Regardless, I think this would make the intersection well suited to both an IPS and a scramble.  Regional staff seem willing to consider an IPS, but outright refuse to consider a scramble. For the life of me, I don't know why, that intersection apparently has some performance issues, largely because cars can't easily turn right due to pedestrian volumes, and as a result, block the intersection because there is no right turn lane, a scramble would fix this, and yet, no willingness to consider.

Forgive my ignorance, what's an IPS?

I didn't know scrambles had been suggested before, sad they don't consider them.

Wow, I totally said the wrong thing here. LPI is what I meant, which is a 'leading pedestrian interval' basically, the walk sign comes on before the light turns green, meaning drivers in theory shouldn't be able to force peds to wait. Of course, since we have right on red, I'll be curious to see how well this actually works.

IPS is something like, intersection pedestrian signal, which is when you have a light at an intersection exclusively for a pedestrian crossing. The intersection of Seagram and Albert has one:

https://www.google.ca/maps/@43.4719796,-...312!8i6656

As for scrambles, they came up at an ATAC meeting, and staff said that they've been asked about them several times but don't feel they're something they want to try.

Quote:
(10-17-2018, 08:40 PM)danbrotherston Wrote: Frankly, I cannot understand some Regional staff, they seem extremely set in their ways, and willing to justify any decision, no matter how bizarre.

I know staffers dont change with an election, but this is the kind of transformational change that needs to happen.  We need leaders willing to take a shot and do something new.

Indeed, but a strong regional council will set the direction staff takes, and at a base level *can* replace staff if they aren't doing their jobs. At least that's my understanding.
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(10-17-2018, 09:40 PM)Pheidippides Wrote: I think others have discredited the notion of ramps or tunnels enough.

As busy as King and University is, it is not busy enough to warrant a scramble. Even Toronto, with much heavier pedestrian volumes shut down/reverted a scramble because it did not demonstrate enough benefit to pedestrians.

The King and University Intersection could be greatly improved by other means:
-tightening the turning radiuses forces drivers to slow down and shortens crossing distances
-narrowing lanes also shortens crossing distances and people drive slower
-adding refuge islands, and
-add leading pedestrian intervals on all the signal phases.

Also, although they too don't have enough pedestrian volume to warrant a scramble I think the Caroline/Erb intersection and Courtland/Stirling could be implemented with great benefit to the pedestrians that do use them without over-penalizing vehicles on the road.

For example, Caroline/Erb could have looked like this (also assumes two-way conversion of Caroline/Bridgeport and Erb) - especially with the Ion coming through every 4 minutes:

While I agree with most everything you say, the other improvements you list are definitely worth doing, I'd argue that neither of us really know the traffic volumes at King/University of either peds or vehicles, but I think there's probably enough. And I do feel it's important to reiterate that it has benefits for drivers too, in terms of operations.  I think it would make the entire intersection operate with less conflict. The other advantage is a scramble could be implemented with paint and programming, the other enhancements somewhat less so.

I do agree that Caroline/Erb has more clear benefit for pedestrians (although, that whole intersection is a mess in so many ways).
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(10-18-2018, 09:02 AM)danbrotherston Wrote:
(10-17-2018, 09:36 PM)Spokes Wrote: Based on my observations (as a driver mostly), I'm SHOCKED it's only once a week.  I feel like I see it almost every time I'm there.

I'm being pretty generous and only counting the times that I personal experience being nearly run down.

Quote:Forgive my ignorance, what's an IPS?

I didn't know scrambles had been suggested before, sad they don't consider them.

Wow, I totally said the wrong thing here.  LPI is what I meant, which is a 'leading pedestrian interval' basically, the walk sign comes on before the light turns green, meaning drivers in theory shouldn't be able to force peds to wait.  Of course, since we have right on red, I'll be curious to see how well this actually works.

IPS is something like, intersection pedestrian signal, which is when you have a light at an intersection exclusively for a pedestrian crossing.  The intersection of Seagram and Albert has one:

https://www.google.ca/maps/@43.4719796,-...312!8i6656

As for scrambles, they came up at an ATAC meeting, and staff said that they've been asked about them several times but don't feel they're something they want to try.

Quote:I know staffers dont change with an election, but this is the kind of transformational change that needs to happen.  We need leaders willing to take a shot and do something new.

Indeed, but a strong regional council will set the direction staff takes, and at a base level *can* replace staff if they aren't doing their jobs.  At least that's my understanding.

I hadn't heard of LPI before either.  Good idea.

Sad that scrambles have been suggested and they've been so blatantly shot down.  Why not try something, what is there to lose?
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This scheme can be calculated using the Queue Theory to see if it can reduce waiting time. If it reduces the total waiting time, it benefits the public.

Xiaoming Guo
Kitchener Trustee Candidate of Waterloo Region District School Board.
Reply
(10-18-2018, 05:22 PM)Xiaoming Wrote: This scheme can be calculated using the Queue Theory to see if it can reduce waiting time. If it reduces the total waiting time, it benefits the public.

Xiaoming Guo
Kitchener Trustee Candidate of Waterloo Region District School Board.

Waiting time is not the only consideration, safety is, I would argue, more important.

Human beings are also somewhat more complex than a mathematical term.  Queue theory is not 100% accurate in predicting outcomes.  For example, it would predict the wait time to be higher for cars, because models we use wouldn't anticipate the intentional driving in front of pedestrians by some drivers which is observed.

And as a final note, having read Donald Shoups book on parking, I have somewhat less faith in civil engineers' rigour than I had previously.  My experience with some of the engineers at the region hasn't helped this opinion.

Given the low financial cost of converting to a scramble, and the ease of validating the important metrics, I'd argue a better option is to convert this intersection to a scramble for 2-3 years, and observe the outcome.
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(10-18-2018, 05:22 PM)Xiaoming Wrote: This scheme can be calculated using the Queue Theory to see if it can reduce waiting time. If it reduces the total waiting time, it benefits the public.

Xiaoming Guo
Kitchener Trustee Candidate of Waterloo Region District School Board.

Some people might suggest that overall, it would be cheaper to the average person to not have any accommodations made for LGBTQ+ individuals in school, the workplace, etc, but the disproportionate burden (not to mention views about equality) mean that it's not a utilitarian world we aspire to be in all cases, and I would suggest that this intersection being the busiest pedestrian intersection in the region in all likelihood, it should also be the one where pedestrian considerations are most highly prized compared to any other.
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I've often wondered about the model the region uses to evaluate intersection safety. According to the annual collision report they use the Highway Safety Manual model which appears to be used widely in North America. I blindly am assumed it has been validated and tested over the years to ensure that it is valid in our jurisdiction and is free of biases that might not apply in our context, etc., but based on Dan's comments perhaps that is too much to expect?

According to the 2016 collision report there were 9 collisions involving pedestrians at King and University over the previous 5 year period or 1.8 per year when the model predicts 0.3 per year based an intersection of this type, with its features, with that volume of vehicles (47,507 AADT), etc. That report also suggests that the average annual excess social costs per year of this intersection alone are $91,840.81 which could buy you a lot of paint, reprogrammed signals, and temporary bulb-outs (curb extensions) for even just a trial of measures.

Also, this record article indicates an average of 6,000 pedestrians used the intersection per day in 2013. That works out to be 250 per hour or 6.3 per 90 second traffic signal cycle (across a 24 hour day) or 333 per hour or 8.3 per 90 second traffic signal cycle (across an 18 hour day).

Or in other words, there are about 0.8 collisions involving pedestrians per 1 million pedestrian crossings.

Here are the relevant traffic volumes from 2015:
22,010 KING ST N (Regional Road 15) BTWN Hickory & UNIVERSITY
47,507 KING ST (Regional Road 15) AT UNIVERSITY AVE
15,537 KING ST N (Regional Road 15) BTWN UNIVERSITY & S to Signals(WLU)
 
22,508 UNIVERSITY AVE W (Regional Road 57) BTWN KING & Maple Ct
47,507 UNIVERSITY AVE (Regional Road 57) AT KING ST
26,307 UNIVERSITY AVE E (Regional Road 57) BTWN KING & Regina
Everyone move to the back of the bus and we all get home faster.
Reply
(10-18-2018, 09:23 PM)Pheidippides Wrote: I've often wondered about the model the region uses to evaluate intersection safety. According to the annual collision report they use the Highway Safety Manual model which appears to be used widely in North America. I blindly am assumed it has been validated and tested over the years to ensure that it is valid in our jurisdiction and is free of biases that might not apply in our context, etc., but based on Dan's comments perhaps that is too much to expect?

According to the 2016 collision report there were 9 collisions involving pedestrians at King and University over the previous 5 year period or 1.8 per year when the model predicts 0.3 per year based an intersection of this type, with its features, with that volume of vehicles (47,507 AADT), etc. That report also suggests that the average annual excess social costs per year of this intersection alone are $91,840.81 which could buy you a lot of paint, reprogrammed signals, and temporary bulb-outs (curb extensions) for even just a trial of measures.

Also, this record article indicates an average of 6,000 pedestrians used the intersection per day in 2013. That works out to be 250 per hour or 6.3 per 90 second traffic signal cycle (across a 24 hour day) or 333 per hour or 8.3 per 90 second traffic signal cycle (across an 18 hour day).

Or in other words, there are about 0.8 collisions involving pedestrians per 1 million pedestrian crossings.

Here are the relevant traffic volumes from 2015:
22,010 KING ST N (Regional Road 15) BTWN Hickory & UNIVERSITY
47,507 KING ST (Regional Road 15) AT UNIVERSITY AVE
15,537 KING ST N (Regional Road 15) BTWN UNIVERSITY & S to Signals(WLU)
 
22,508 UNIVERSITY AVE W (Regional Road 57) BTWN KING & Maple Ct
47,507 UNIVERSITY AVE (Regional Road 57) AT KING ST
26,307 UNIVERSITY AVE E (Regional Road 57) BTWN KING & Regina

To be fair, I am basing my disbelief on a few things, first, the fact that parking minimums are apparently based on entirely junk science (for example, the correlation the manual claims is sometimes backwards in the data [bigger floor area correlates with less parking], when it is, the parking report still prints the positive correlation [bigger floor area correlates to more parking] which isn't supported by the data, but hides the best fit line [which would show the negative correlation]).  Which doesn't necessarily mean that other parts of civil engineering are based on junk science, but it does shake my trust in it.

The second, would be my experience with their responses to questions about cycling and pedestrian infrastructure.  They always say, "the manual says".  But when I point out that their signage is directly contradicted by the very manual they claim, or point out they've contradicted some other standard, they always have an excuse.

But none of that proves that this is junk science, it just means I have no trust in it.

Of course, this all should be a moot point, the easiest solution is to adopt Vision Zero and set all acceptable serious and fatal collision numbers to zero Tongue.

You are right though, they could easily make major improvements to that intersection, one of the incoming lanes is a ridiculously over-sized 6 meters wide, for no conceivable reason.
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(10-18-2018, 05:29 PM)danbrotherston Wrote:
(10-18-2018, 05:22 PM)Xiaoming Wrote: This scheme can be calculated using the Queue Theory to see if it can reduce waiting time. If it reduces the total waiting time, it benefits the public.

Xiaoming Guo
Kitchener Trustee Candidate of Waterloo Region District School Board.

Waiting time is not the only consideration, safety is, I would argue, more important.

Human beings are also somewhat more complex than a mathematical term.  Queue theory is not 100% accurate in predicting outcomes.  For example, it would predict the wait time to be higher for cars, because models we use wouldn't anticipate the intentional driving in front of pedestrians by some drivers which is observed.

And as a final note, having read Donald Shoups book on parking, I have somewhat less faith in civil engineers' rigour than I had previously.  My experience with some of the engineers at the region hasn't helped this opinion.

Given the low financial cost of converting to a scramble, and the ease of validating the important metrics, I'd argue a better option is to convert this intersection to a scramble for 2-3 years, and observe the outcome.

There are cities already used the scrambles. We should assess their experiences to find out the pros and cons, then evaluate our circumstance to decide whether we would like to implement it. There are must be some research on this. 

Xiaoming Guo
Kitchener Trustee Candidate of Waterloo Regional District School Board.
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