Title

USING ACCESS MANAGEMENT TO HELP RECLAIM A VILLAGE'S PUBLIC REALM

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

1998

Subject Area

operations - traffic, infrastructure - vehicle, planning - safety/accidents, land use - planning, ridership - commuting, organisation - management, place - urban, place - cbd, mode - bus, mode - pedestrian, mode - pedestrian

Keywords

Urban highways, Urban development, Transportation planning, Traffic flow, Teamwork, Streets, Sidewalks, Road design, Pedestrian traffic, Pedestrian safety, Pedestrian movement, Pedestrian crossings, Pavement (Sidewalks), Maine, Landscaping, Kerbs, Highway design, Driveways, Downtowns, Curbs, Crosswalks, Crossing The Road, Cooperation, Commuters, Commercial vehicles, Collaboration, City streets, City centers, Central business districts, Access management (highways), Access control (Transportation)

Abstract

For more than 20 years, the town of Gorham, Maine, has been grappling with increased commuter and commercial traffic along its one-third mi (0.5 km) long village center on Main Street, which is both the traditional "main street" and a major regional roadway. Striking the balance to achieve a quality Main Street involved acknowledging up front that tradeoffs would have to be made. Maximizing either traffic flow or pedestrian accommodations would not result in a project that met the established goals or recognized constraints. Throughout the process of developing recommendations, it was surprising to recognize how many of the pedestrian improvements aided traffic considerations and vice versa. Reducing or closing curb cuts as part of the access management plan (a traffic improvement) also increases the amount of space available for sidewalks and landscaping treatments in the public right of way. This reduces the number of potential vehicle-vehicle and vehicle-pedestrian conflict points. Eliminating driveways means more space adjacent to buildings can be devoted to landscaping. Bumpouts at crosswalks (a pedestrian improvement) more effectively define areas near intersections where there should be no parking, which also improves sight distance for cars exiting from side streets.