Wondering why your local government is claiming it needs to widen a street to make it "safer"? Trying to make sense of the outdated zoning codes in your city? R. Moses has the answer.
From the Strong Towns membership, we've assembled a panel of engineers to answer your questions under the collective pseudonym R. Moses. In doing so, we hope to give licensed professionals a chance to speak to important issues without fear of reprisal from their peers or employers.
Submit your engineering question anonymously and R. Moses will do his best to answer it in a future post:
R. Moses is not meant to be professional engineering advice nor should be relied upon as such. Consult your own technical professional before proceeding with your own project.
Recent answers from R. Moses:
Our public works department utilizes outdated, suburban-type engineering judgment when calculating "sight triangles" in my walkable downtown. How can we avoid sacrificing on-street parking at the altar of out-of-context design rules?
Sidewalks in my hilly, non-grid-based town are inconsistent at best and nonexistent in many areas. How can I make my town more walk-friendly?
My city leaders keep insisting we need more parking. How can I, as a citizen, make the case for less?
A local engineer told me striping was supposed to make the street safer, but it feels like it has had the opposite effect. Is there any evidence to suggest that striping a center line on residential streets actually improves safety or slows drivers down?
Readers ask, What's the best crosswalk for my intersection? R. Moses' answer may surprise you.
How can I parse through the engineering jargon to determine if my town's infrastructure really needs replacement or if it just needs maintenance and rehabilitation?
A reader asks how traffic counts work and for how long they are valid, in the hopes of implementing a road diet in her town. R. Moses answers.
A reader asks whether roundabouts make pedestrians safer or less safe than standard intersections. R. Moses answers.
A Strong Towns reader asks, "Why are center turn lanes often as wide or wider than through travel lanes? I would love to use that extra space for bike lanes." And R. Moses answers.