Good enough for GNV?

In regard to the proposed redesigning of University Avenue:

Ten years from now, maybe sooner, Gainesville will regret that we didn’t two-lane University Avenue when we had the chance.

I’m all for wider sidewalks, roundabouts, mid-block pedestrian crosswalks and all of the other enhancements they’re talking about adding to slow cars and stop killing people on University Avenue.

But make no mistake. If Gainesville’s “signature street” remains multi-laned, University Avenue will still be primarily designed for cars rather than the thousands of pedestrians, cyclists, transit riders and other micro-mobility users who occupy University on any given day.

We redesigned South Main Street and Depot Avenue for people. And guess what? Cars can still easily travel on both those streets, but those corridors are safer for pedestrians and other living things precisely because they were designed to prioritize people over cars.

Keeping University Avenue four lanes is simply inviting people who drive fast to pass people who drive more slowly. And the faster people drive, especially when they are passing, the more dangerous cars are to walkers and runners, cyclists, scooter riders, skaters and other carbon-based life forms. For all practical purposes, slower drivers are traffic calmers.

Properly designed, two-lane streets can move traffic as efficiently, or more so, than multi-laned streets. Ask Strong Towns. And if you are going to install them, one-lane roundabouts are both more efficient and safer than two-lane roundabouts.

Anyway, I suspect the die is cast and there will be no further discussion about, gasp!, removing lanes. Apparently what’s being recommended will be good enough for City Hall, UF and the state DOT.

Because this is still autoAmerica. And so we must keep cars moving smoothly and efficiently on University Avenue no matter the cost to public safety, economic vitality or quality of life in the heart of GNV.

1 Comment

  1. In the long-range transportation plan I wrote for GVL, I called for University Avenue to be road dieted to two and three lanes back in the 90s (such a reform has been a no-brainer for decades). I was run out of town by supervisors, citizens, the fire dept, the police dept, and the city commission faster than you can blink. My transportation plan was completely gutted and was barely a shadow of its former self. Like most all cities, GVL has passed the point of no return on creating a car-happy world. There is no turning back. Only an unprecedented economic catastrophe can put a dent in the extreme car dependence of GVL.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s