Sunday, January 24, 2016

Snow Storms Expose Inherent Weakness of Suburban Design

Hopefully, It's self evident that road systems with many redundancies are inherently safer, and less exposed to catastrophic traffic backups.

A Washington D.C. based blog did a short post on how the region's beltway designs made the recent huge snow storm much worse.

"Urban street grids are more resilient than road systems focused around large highways, because of how they're laid out.

The great thing about interconnected grids is that if one street becomes blocked, there's another perfectly good street one block over. And another one block down.
If a wrecked car or fallen tree or whatever blocks the street you're on, you just take a different street. There might be some additional turns involved; it might not be quite as direct. But for the most part 28th Street isn't all the different from 29th Street.

Contrast that with suburban-style systems where all traffic in a particular area funnels onto one big highway. If that one highway becomes impassible, everyone in the area is stuck. Or, at best, they have to drive miles out of their way to find the next big highway."
Amazingly, our "expert" engineers and central planners have spent the last 70 years replacing, naturally rational and resilient street grids with designs prone to massive failure.

That's part of what happened last night. There were a lot of accidents crashes. If they happened on arterial highways with no parallel roads, which a lot of them did, that road would succumb to gridlock.

No comments: