[personal profile] skyyy posting in [community profile] davis_square
What are your thoughts on this sketch of what Davis would look like with Elm St turned into a pedestrian-only area?

Deliveries could drive through during off peak hours. Buses would get a huge boost with the bus lane and better symmetry and turnarounds.

I'd especially like feedback on bikability. I didn't manage to fit bike lanes in anywhere, and we'd lose the door zone lane on Highland, but that'd be made up for by having a smaller slower intersection. Perhaps bikes could also share the bus lane? Would a 2-way cycletrack through the pedestrian area be too disruptive?

I'm also discussing it on twitter: https://twitter.com/skyqrose/status/867314846957801472

Date: 2017-05-29 06:19 pm (UTC)
3rdragon: (Default)
From: [personal profile] 3rdragon
I walk down that stretch of Elm twice a day unless I take the bike path instead, and it's very crowded at 5:30, with commuters and slower walkers and people standing around talking and people standing around smoking . . . I would definitely like more sidewalk/plaza to walk through. I'm also in favor of simplifying the Davis Square intersection.

That said, I share the following concerns:

- Bfresh deliveries seem like a problem.
- Loss of Bfresh bus access is also a problem. I'm young and able-bodied and capable of walking with groceries; lots of people aren't.
- I don't have experience with the late-night taxi scene, but it sounds like pickups in the existing mode would be challenging.
- There are currently a lot of cars on both Highland and Elm at busy times of day. It's all very well to say that people won't drive if driveability is worse, but I think that the fact that people drive in Boston/Cambridge/Somerville *at all* shows that this only goes so far.
- It's already pretty challenging to drive north/south in the Davis area and a bit to the east; forcing more east/west traffic onto north/south roads, even for just a little bit, isn't going to help that.

- I've been told that pedestrian-only areas become less safe during off hours because there's less traffic in general and they become very isolated. If this is actually the case, that should be addressed.

Other general comments:

- I was just in Rotterdam (Netherlands), which has some excellent examples of how to have adjacent-but-separate space for bicycles and pedestrians. Minneapolis has some nice shared/separate bike paths, too.
- Someone raised concern about loss of traffic affecting businesses further down Summer St, but by my count, the VFW and the veterinarian are the only significant non-residential establishments east of Cutter. I do wonder about access to that parking lot, though.
- Would it be possible to do a less extreme option? No driving from 10am-9pm, say, or only one lane, for buses and taxis? It would mean that the plaza would be less nice. Do peak pedestrian times line up in a reasonable way with other uses? It wouldn't help evening rush hour. Would a timed option just make things confusing? (Since it's coming from Davis, it could maybe be a turn lane from Holland with the timing controlled by the light.)


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