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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Today's Photo: A Good City Intersection


I took this picture from the roof of the Guilford Building looking down upon the intersection of South Elm and Washington Streets. That is South Elm Street running left to right (north being to the right), and Washington Street running from top to bottom (the top of the picture pointing west).

I have crossed this intersection on foot or in a car hundreds if not thousands of times over the last two years, from every direction. This is a very pedestrian friendly intersection. The crossing lights are clear and obvious. The brick walkways delineate walking space very clearly. Cars are set back enough not to impede or inconvenience pedestrian traffic. Most of the eight sidewalks emanating from the intersection are wide, also delineated by the color and texture of brick, and separated from the street by a buffer. It is, in summary, a lively and a safe intersection for the pedestrian.

As a driver I have found the intersection very efficient as well. There are left turn lanes coming from each direction. This does a lot to keep traffic moving quickly. Traffic flows well through the intersections, but at a measured and safe rate. This intersection is thus both pedestrian friendly and driver friendly.

More and more intersections downtown need to work as well as this one.

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