Mid-block traffic management: what’s behind those seemingly pointless stop lights in Denver?

I’m rarely one to begrudge municipalities that find creative, site-specific means of managing traffic flow.  If these solutions meet the desired outcome of improving the Level of Service (LOS) at a certain road segment, intersection, or even a single lane of traffic (left-turn, right-turn, or through), and they achieve this without compromising safety for alternative

German Street in Shepherdstown, WV: where, instead of a curb at the sidewalk, there’s a fence.  And shrubs.

The prosperous little municipality of Shepherdstown, fortuitously situated along the Potomac River in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia, boasts a charming three-block main street, German Street, with nothing but locally owned establishments, achieving almost perfect occupancy amidst its variegated, well-maintained 19th century buildings.  It’s an enviable arrangement, no doubt enhanced by its location in

Directional decals: amplifying restrictions on everyday activities amidst pandemic panic.

Usually I like my articles to be “outside of time”—that is, I avoid subjects that are completely beholden to some current event.  But by March of this year, that all changed.  How couldn’t it?! It was virtually impossible to avoid the coronavirus, both artistically and epidemiologically.  (I still estimate there’s about a 50% chance that

In the urban jungle, a crosswalk for guineafowl.

As I manage issues regarding data migration from my old computer to new—apparently a process that, so far, has involved over four hours with tech support and no success—I must resign myself to another mini-post to keep things going when time is scarce.  On a bright May morning, I was trolling around downtown Trenton, New

Right-turn spurs get the axe in Alexandria: is it safer at any speed?

The vehicularly inclined among us have probably noticed how, in recent years, various cities have adopted new stripes, bollards, stanchions, and sometimes modified curbs that make it highly inconvenient to make right turns.  Yes, this is deliberate. No, it’s not happening to give motorists a hard time, though it definitely doesn’t make things easier, which

Pedestrian fencing in the median: jerry-rigged to stop jaywalking?

Sure, despite considerable improvements in the last two decades, the American urban environment is still much more pedestrian unfriendly than that in most other developed countries. But urban advocates all too often assert this with a certitude that, if we plumb beyond the generalizations, reveals that it isn’t always fair. Or even accurate. First of

Steering with stanchions: keeping the corners safe in the Christmas City.

For those of us who care about this sort of thing (the precious few), it’s become increasingly obvious that bollards have become a significant element of the average streetscape. We owe some of this, no doubt, to the unfortunate reality of an escalating collective fear of terrorist attacks in the form of vehicle ramming, either

Two lanes diverge on a road, and I took the time to blog about it.

Generally, when I stumble across an unusual bit of infrastructure, I can figure out what’s gong on after some careful scrutiny. But bicycle and pedestrian markings have gotten so variegated and complicated that, more often than not, I’m left scratching my head. I pondered the rationale for a weird crosswalk in Baltimore a few months

In the urban jungle, a crosswalk for guineafowl.

As I manage issues regarding data migration from my old computer to new—apparently a process that, so far, has involved over four hours with tech support and no success—I must resign myself to