E-mail Scott
Scott's Links
About the Author
Opinion Archives
Social Media:
Google Plus
Monthly Archives:

January 2010
February 2010
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010
June 2010
July 2010
August 2010
September 2010
October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011
March 2011
April 2011
May 2011
June 2011
July 2011
August 2011
September 2011
October 2011
November 2011
December 2011
January 2012
February 2012
March 2012
April 2012
May 2012
June 2012
July 2012
August 2012
September 2012
October 2012
November 2012
December 2012
January 2013
February 2013
March 2013
April 2013
May 2013
June 2013
July 2013
August 2013
September 2013
October 2013
November 2013
December 2013
January 2014
February 2014
March 2014
April 2014
May 2014
June 2014
July 2014
August 2014
September 2014
October 2014
November 2014
December 2014
January 2015
February 2015
March 2015
April 2015
May 2015
June 2015
July 2015
August 2015
September 2015
October 2015
November 2015
December 2015
January 2016
February 2016
March 2016
April 2016
May 2016
June 2016
July 2016
August 2016
September 2016
October 2016
November 2016
December 2016
January 2017
February 2017
March 2017
April 2017
May 2017
June 2017

Powered by Blogger
Subscribe via RSS

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Traffic flow, traffic safety and West Third

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM (#)

The medians on West Third Street had some people grumbling after they were installed, and four years later some are calling for them to be removed. But is this a good idea, from a limited-government perspective or a public safety perspective? There are three major factors to consider, regarding tearing out the median: Traffic flow, cost and safety. Let's examine those three issues.

Safety: A city engineer told the Herald-Times in 2011 that the street "is much safer now" that the median has been installed. I asked the city public works department if there was a study done to examine accidents before and after to see if the street actually is safer, but was told no such study had been done. I was referred to a national study that medians like the one on Third Street do make traffic safer overall. I am not an engineer by any means, but it does make sense that the street is safer now that left turns across multiple lanes of traffic are no longer possible.

Cost: Whether one supported spending the money to install the median or not, the median is there now. It would cost a lot of money to rip it out and re-pave the road to look like it did before the project was done. If there is not a safety benefit, then I cannot justify spending the money to take out the median, especially when there are always other infrastructure projects that need to be funded from a limited supply of money.

Traffic Flow: Ripping out the median and restoring West Third to what it looked like several years ago would significantly disrupt traffic flow along an arterial street, and that disruption would be exacerbated by the construction of Interstate 69 and the traffic that will be coming into Bloomington from I-69 along West Third. If we are not going to see a public safety benefit (especially if the road will be less safe without the median) I cannot justify the disruption of traffic flow that would be created by another large public works project.

These things are always worth considering, and the west side does legitimately feel disrespected by our city leaders. Many on the west side do not believe their voices matter as much as the rest of Bloomington, especially the university-affiliated parts of the city. That needs to change, but we need to not be rash in reacting to even unpopular decisions. Unless I see compelling statistical evidence that would demonstrate that removing the West Third median would be beneficial, I cannot support removing them.

Below are the rules for commenting on ConservaTibbs.com.

  1. A reasonable level of civility is expected. While it is expected that controversial political and social issues may generate heated debate, there are common-sense limits of civility that will be enforced.

  2. This blog is a family-friendly site. Therefore no cursing, profanity, vulgarity, obscenity, etc. will be allowed. This is a zero-tolerance rule and will result in automatic deletion of the offending post.

  3. Anonymity has greatly coarsened discourse on the Internet, so pseudonyms are discouraged but not forbidden. That said, any direct criticism of a person by name may not be done anonymously. If you criticize someone, you must subject yourself to the same level of scrutiny or the comment will be deleted.

  4. You must put a name or pseudonym on your comments. All comments by "Anonymous" will be deleted.

  5. Please keep your comments relevant to the topic of the post.

Thank you for your cooperation.