Friday, July 20, 2012

Putting Henry on a Diet

Henry Avenue is too wide. Drivers treat it like a speedway with traffic lights, and people keep getting run over and killed along it.

I've never seen it congested. Traffic flows along it, barely any stacking, and speed is a problem.

There's a bridge being renovated between Monastery and Dupont; half the driving lanes have been taken out of service. The verdict? The merge movement's confusing, speed's gone down while throughput remains the same.

It's like one of Marohn's spontaneous experiments. Henry's functioning less like a mini-Schuylkill and more like a street between Monastery and Dupont. More than anything else, it proves that Henry only needs two lanes.

So what to do with the rest of the space?

My suggestion: turn it into a busway, like the one in Ardmore. Integrate a bikeway into it as well; it'll offer a very bike-friendly resource to match the one at the bottom of the hill. Put a median between the two, and fill it with some nice tall trees. Put some proper bus stops in--more than just signposts.

Make the only intersections on the busway the ones at Dupont and Leverington--that would be where the 32 exits it, and the 27 enters it.

There. Now we'd have a much slower, saner, safer street; some proper bike infrastructure; and a good separated busway. And all in the footprint of today's Henry Ave.

Not bad, eh?

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