Concerns from Charlottesville city planners over Locust Avenue are an example of what public planners try to do to limit traffic accidents.
Recent reports show that Locust Avenue is something the city considers a hot spot in terms of traffic issues. A traffic study showed 85% of all drivers going faster than the speed limit through the area. The speed limit is 25 mph, which is low, but residents and planners argue that the low speed is necessary to provide safety for the residential neighborhood.
Some refer to Locust Avenue as a “Berlin Wall” for pedestrians and bikers and criticize the lack of motorists’ consideration for those who are on foot or using an alternate means of transportation.
To fix this problem, urban planners are looking at a variety of options that are often considered for traffic calming situations. One is speed bumps or speed tables, but local fire and police officials say that these could have a negative impact on emergency vehicles. A four-way stop sign is out of the question because the intersection did not meet the Federal Highway Administration’s standards for this type of traffic installation. Planners are left with the idea of separating bike and pedestrian areas from street lanes and using something called chicanes.
What are Chicanes and How Can They Help?
Chicanes are different kinds of shapes, such as S-curves and curb extensions that will work to slow traffic down. The Institute of Transportation Engineers cites applications, such as mid-block installations and use of on-street parking to affect the traffic lanes in question. While these types of installations can slow down traffic, they can also be more difficult to maintain. They can also cause their own types of safety concerns. Roundabouts were not discussed for the project, according to reports.
Whenever these types of questions come up, they raise core issues of public safety. What do you do to calm traffic accidents and decrease dangers in residential neighborhoods? What is the best way to provide a balance between economy and access, as well as the rights of individuals to have safe spaces?
Virginia personal injury lawyers tend to think about this quite a bit as they represent their clients in court. They’re used to looking at the full context of an accident to determine whether third-party liability applies. However, they also look at the bigger picture and try to determine what types of safety precautions really work, as well as what should be in place in an urban or suburban environment. While applying federal, state and local law and case precedent, injury lawyers will ask what is reasonable and what is a reasonable expectation in terms of site safety installations.
Get Help From a Virginia Injury Law Firm
Charlottesville, Virginia residents injured in the Albermarle county area can contact the experienced injury lawyers at MartinWren, P.C. Talk to our lawyers about how we can help you through every step of a personal injury case. Ask us about different types of compensation and recovery. We can help you understand your options and legal rights in an injury situation. Let us fight for justice for you in Virginia courts.