Episode 31 – Toyota Recall and Safety

Topics: Toyota Recall, Safety, Politics

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Episode 30 – LEDs, Newspapers, Funding

Topics: LEDs, Newspapers, Funding

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Talking Traffic Wordle

Lest you think I’m doing nothing with Talking Traffic here is a wordle comprising every word from every episode.

Wordle: 29 Episodes of Talking Traffic

I compiled all the episodes into one document recently and just now thought, “I wonder what the wordle looks like?”

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Oddball Traffic Signal

Through a set of odd circumstances, I became aware of Smackover, Arkansas, the location of the self-proclaimed “…only center of the road traffic light in the state of Arkansas….”

If you go to the google maps link above and click on streetview, you can see not only a “center of the road” traffic signal, but also a pump jack sitting in the median of one of the side streets!

I’m curious to know how this signal is controlled. Looking at streetview, I can’t see any controller box and it doesn’t look like enough equipment is sitting on the pole itself to do the job. I suppose the grey smudge I see on the image could be doing it, but I’ll have to ask a signal expert to find out.

(I’m also curious about how many times this signal gets struck by errant vehicles)

Smackover, AR official website

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Episode 29.5 – Metacast

Topics: Metacast, Where we’re going?

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As a podcaster and a blogger, I love linkage. Especially when it comes from reputable sources.

Welcome to anyone clicking through from the Dallas Morning News Transportation Blog. As former resident of the Lone Star state, I salute you!

However, I have a confession, I’m not going to be uploading any new content for a little while. Why? Because I have a race to complete and all of my spare time is taken up with training.

Look for new articles about SPUIs and Diverging Diamonds after Thanksgiving.

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Support the Morgan Falls Bridge!

Cross posted from The Evil Eyebrow, this is an Atlanta-centric posting.

The City of Sandy Springs, Georgia, has proposed a pedestrian bridge across the Chattahoochee River between Morgan Falls Park (Sandy Springs) and National Park Service land adjacent to Hyde Farm Cobb County). There is a public information meeting on June 17, 2009 from 7-9 PM at the North Fulton Government Service Center, 7741 Roswell Road, Sandy Springs, GA 30350. If you can’t make it to the meeting, you may comment at their online survey.

Why should you support this bridge? Because you want to walk or bike across the river without being hit by a car.

View Larger Map

If you are not familiar with the geography and road network of East Cobb and North Fulton Counties, then you might not be aware that it is difficult to move from northwest to southeast due to the Chattahoochee River. The Chattahoochee is the primary land feature in this area, forcing roads to conform to its meanderings. Between where US 41 crosses “the Chatt” near Cumberland Mall (just south of I-75) and where SR 140/Holcomb Bridge Road crosses at the Gwinnett County border, there are only three pedestrian- and bicycle- accessible crossings. This is a distance of 19 miles along the river. That’s an average of 3.8 miles between crossings and that’s along the river. It’s much farther by road.

To make matters worse, all of the crossings mentioned (including the ones at the ends) are pedestrian unfriendly, designed as arterial roads to maximize the amount of vehicular traffic that may flow across the river. I can state with personal experience that of the five crossings, I would hesitate to use two of them (Johnson Ferry and US 41), and downright refuse to use another two (Roswell Road and Holcomb Bridge Road).

The Morgan Falls Bridge would address these concerns by building a ped/bike bridge which is accessible through low-volume streets on both sides of the river. It would … (dammit, I’ve falling into passive engineer talk! I hate the way I’ve been trained to write like this) … This bridge will make it easier to bike and walk across the river between the parks. From my personal perspective, it will make it easier to travel between Cobb County and Atlanta by bicycle. My route of choice to cross the river on bike is Johnson Ferry Road. Johnson Ferry is unfortunately steep on both sides of the river. It is fun going down, but very much un-fun going up. The Morgan Falls bridge would have less terrain for me to enjoy and that’s fine. If I need to train on hills I’ll go to the mountains.

The Map above shows the location of Morgan Falls park, which is one end of the bridge or you can use this link to get the Google Earth KMZ file that I hacked together.

Comment online or show up at the public information meeting! There is a vocal minority (primarily Cobb County citizens) who oppose this bridge and from professional experience I can tell you that the squeaky wheel indeed gets greased. All too often, the people who show up and/or comment on transportation projects are those opposed, rather than those for. Help make this project an exception and support the growth of Atlanta Metro’s pedestrian and bicycle accessibility.

Here is a quote from the public affairs officer:

Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area (CRNRA) is working with The Sandy Springs Conservancy, City of Sandy Springs and Cobb County on preliminary plans to construct a bridge below Morgan Falls Dam. The bridge would be for pedestrian and possibly bicycle use only. It would be constructed as a free span bridge over the Chattahoochee River and would connect visitors to the Sandy Springs’ riverside parks at Morgan Falls with National Park Service land in Cobb County below Hyde Farm. Funding for the bridge has not yet been obtained, but the planning and public review process began in March 2009. In addition to the bridge, the plan will evaluate possible trail connections to Hyde Farm and the Johnson Ferry North unit of CRNRA

Link to the Sandy Springs Conservancy
Directions to the North Fulton Government Service Center
Google Earth link to the project location
Chattahoochee River facts

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I-75 HOV Markings

Last week I blogged about the Northside HOV Exit in Atlanta where the Bluffton University bus crash occurred. Since then, the Georgia Department of Transportation has installed some new pavement markings. Let’s take a look!

Northside 1
Northside 2

If you click through to the Flickr pages of the individual pictures, you’ll find some notes I placed on them

You can see the most obvious new feature for pavement markings in the images above. The giant Interstate 75 shield that has been placed on the roadway was a shock when we first drove over it. It’s not something I’m used to seeing on the roadway. I don’t know the exact dimensions of the shield, but it looks to me like nine feet wide by twenty feet long (or so). The Large SOUTH pavement marking is also new, leading up to that shield.

Another new pavement marking installed is the EXIT ONLY words and attendant raised pavement markers just on the left side of the dotted yellow stripe. You can see the white stripe, although you can’t read the words, in the second picture above. This is new.

Northside 3

Everything else you see has been in place for over a year. If you click through to the Flickr page on this photo, I’ve notated everything.

In the next few months, new overhead signs will be going up which will be in line with the MUTCD1.

Will this additional striping prevent all future accidental exits here at the Northside Drive HOV exit? I don’t think so. At least, not 100%. It will help; that I do not disagree with. Hopefully it will help enough to prevent another Bluffton.

1: There have been some significant changes in HOV-related signing in the past few years, significantly affected by the Bluffton crash. If you want to read the true skinny, go to the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (2003 Revision 2) and read starting at section 2E.59. Also be aware that another significant revision to the entire manual is under work, slated for publication this year.

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Episode 29 – Fatality Statistics, Bikes & Pedestrians, Speed Humps

Topics: NHTSA Fatality Statistics 2008, Speed Humps, Bicycles and Pedestrians in the Motorized Environment

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Episode 28.5 – Metacast

Topics: Metacast

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