Neil Sinhababu and Nicholas Beaudrot's political blog
Friday, March 27, 2009
Look, I understand that garages and driveways create dead space in an urban area, but how many times to pedestrians actually get hit by cars entering and exiting driveways? There can't be a real substantial safety gain here, right?
Obviously the chances go up at least four times if there are rowhouses with garages in front.
Clearly the garage design for row houses is an access driveway, with a right and left turn to single lock up garages behind the house (which, indeed, can be angled garages) ... and continuing to a common egress driveway, so there would be four or eight row houses per driveway instead of basically one continuous driveway along the front of the row-houses.
Anyone who can't see that garages occupying the front of row houses each with an individual driveway to the street makes a neighborhood less walkable probably drives most everywhere they go, or has never actually seen the design in action.
Look I live in a walkable neighborhood having moved from a different walkable neighborhood. But the idea that there's a nontrivial probability that there's going to be a car-on-pedestrian collision in a driveway just strikes me as silly. 4x (or 20x in the case of apartments) a very small number is still a very small number.
You may be right that pedestrians would not be hit more often, but that would be because almost nobody would choose to walk down the street pictured. There is a perception of danger, and the street is visually uninteresting. It does not invite you out for a walk. People walk more where there are windows, attractive stairs to distinctive doors, and street trees (which would get in the way of all of the garage doors. If you want people to walk, perhaps to reduce energy use, concrete acreage, or average American adipose tissue, this design is suboptimal. The builder could have easily had one entrance and one exit to a community parking facility on one side of the block, and the block in the photo could have been made charming at little cost. But no one would actually choose that street for a romantic stroll, for example.
I was. On E 89th St. True, at low speeds it's not fatal, but my elbow was torn up and my wife's knee broken.
Cars driving where pedestrians are is not good practice.
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