Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Idiocy of "Traffic Calming" Along Broad Ripple Avenue

Often in urban planning circles you will hear the concept known as "traffic calming."  The idea behind traffic calming is to slow down traffic through an area in order to create a safer walking and biking environment.  For those who advocate this philosophy, traffic congestion is a good thing.

Slowing down traffic in residential areas makes sense.  But when you employ the tactic in commercial areas it has adverse, even unexpected, effects.

One of the best examples of traffic calming is along Broad Ripple Avenue.   It used to be that when you reached the Monon heading east, Broad Ripple Avenue opened up to four traffic lanes, two each way.  A few years ago city leaders, supported by the Broad Ripple Village Association, the worst "neighborhood" association in the City, eliminated two traffic lanes in favor of bike lanes.  A middle turn lane was also added.

As a result of the removal of the two traffic lanes along Broad Ripple Avenue it is now not unusual for traffic to back up so much so that drivers have to wait through multiple cycles of traffic lights to clear the intersection. Because of the traffic congestion, cars spend more time driving avenue using more gasoline and spewing more carbon monoxide into the air.  The bicyclists and walkers end up breathing more of that pollution.  Traffic calming is hardly good for the environment.

Then you add to that the fact that many people will avoid shopping in Broad Ripple because they don't want to deal with the congestion on Broad Ripple Avenue.   In the world of the BRVA, this congestion will encourage people to get out of their cars at the edge of Broad Ripple and walk or ride a bike to do their shopping in the village.  It's a ridiculous concept before you even take into consideration that there is this thing in the Midwest known as WINTER.

But here is another problem with the elimination of the traffic lanes along Broad Ripple Avenue...that traffic will divert to other streets.  Drop a few blocks south of the avenue to 61st Street and you will find that drivers are now using that purely residential street, which is only broken up by the occasional stop sign, to go from one side of Broad Ripple to the other.

My guess is the residents around 61st Street do not appreciate the added vehicular traffic in their neighborhood. Not only does it endanger their safety and that of their children, it also lowers property values in their neighborhood.

As I've said before, the good people of Broad Ripple deserve better representation than the Broad Ripple Village Association.   The village idiots are running that association.


Mike Kole said...

I judiciously avoid Broad Ripple Avenue when in the area. A royal pain in the ass. Used to go to Shalimar a lot, long after moving away from the area. Haven't been there in at least five years. Calmed my traffic right away.

Cato said...

Another Liberal term that means the exact opposite of its name. Turning a road into congested, slow, impassable hell is anything but "calming."

If anyone uses the term "traffic calming" around you, let 'em have it. Ask them what gives them the right to be a lying piece of ship around you? Tell them to eff off, as the liars they are.

They're employing propaganda, and you counter propaganda with humiliation and ridicule.

Indy Student said...

I just don't see the need for the narrowed traffic lanes outside of the main strip. The area already had sidewalks and bicyclists seemed to use the road just fine, much more so than Kessler just a few blocks away where people drive like maniacs.

I will say that the narrowing lanes and the more visible and colorful crosswalks have slowed traffic down in the strip, which is great. That is where the majority of the pedestrians are and that's where traffic needs to slow down and recognize that if you go through the strip, you aren't going to be going very quickly. But after the main strip, I don't see the need.

goodneighborsam said...

Traffic will fill any space you give it. If you were using BR Ave. to get to a place in Broad Ripple, there are plenty of ways to get there, including, even in Indianapolis' abhorrently cold and snowy winters, actually parking your car and walking. Those who use it for a conduit between Keystone and College just create problems for those who are aiming for a local destination. Oh, the "occasional" stop signs on 61st are on nearly every block.

Pete Boggs said...

The fauxgressive handbook is an ongoing attempt at their psychotropic narrative; overwrought, irrational control pathologies,instrumentalized domestically through big stick "government" mistreatment of political / ideological opponents as fabricated "enemies," while ignoring real world threats of foreign variety.

Paul K. Ogden said...


I will relay your suggestion to my friend Mark Small who lives and works in Broad Ripple, and has MS, that he's "creating problems" because he drives to work.

Again, the idiots are running that village.

goodneighborsam said...

Nice try - Mark can get from Park to his office in about five minutes, and home again even at rush hour in 15, and he's traveling from one Broad Ripple destination to another. Heck, he doesn't even want a reserved parking space - the guy is an animal.

Still, things will clearly be better when you two run for the BRVA Board next time.

Cato said...

Paul, the attack on cars is a squeeze play. Once everyone says "driving is such a pain," where once there was four lanes screaming along, they have the provocation they need to build rail lines.

Pete Boggs said...

Some e-search reveals prospective origins of the term "railroaded" dating back to the 1800's; colonial American rumblings or concerns, about economic larceny or "crony capitalism."

RhondaLeeBaby69 said...

The traffic calming has been a huge success. There are noticeably more pedestrians/cyclists on that stretch of Broad Ripple and traffic does not seem to have been adversely affected. This is because with the elimination of the 2 traffic lanes (1 in each directioin) there was the addition of the middle turn lane. The primary cause for back-ups on this stretch of Broad Ripple was not the lack of capacity, but rather cars turning left from a travel lane, causing a chain reaction back-up in that lane as drivers either stop and wait for the car to turn or merge into the right travel lane to proceed. With only one travel lane and a dedicated left turn (middle) lane, traffic moves much more smoothly.