One-Way Pair for Clarington and Hughes

After a string of theoretical posts on housing at the regional level, it was nice to bring things back into the civil engineering wheelhouse with a look at some local streets in Palms!

Clarington and Hughes should be a one-way pair from Palms to Venice, or maybe Washington.

Now hold up. Before you start telling me about the virtues of two-way streets, hear me out. Clarington and Hughes are in a weird place where they serve both neighborhood and through traffic functions. They’re narrow (two lanes of traffic and one or two parking lanes in about 32’-34’), and people go too fast, making them a little uncomfortable on a bike.

So put this in your gears and grind them: each street should have one 10’ travel lane (southbound on Clarington and northbound on Hughes), 7’ parking lanes (two on Clarington and one on Hughes), and buffered bike lanes.

Boom! Through traffic and local traffic functionality preserved, plus dangerous lefts from Clarington to Palms eliminated. And if you’re riding between Venice and any possible bike lanes on Palms, now you have a dedicated lane east of Motor, and a solid connection to the Expo Line bikeway, and from the Palms Expo Station to downtown Culver City.

CHmap

Using the excellent Streetmix, here’s a sketch of what each street would look like. Note that the location of the bike lanes minimizes the risks of getting doored.

Hughes Clarington

If Culver City wants in, between Washington and Culver, there’s enough pavement on Clarington (or Madison as it’s known in Culver City) for bike lanes, and south of Culver, it’s a quiet street that doesn’t need any special bike accommodation. Meanwhile, Hughes (or Duquesne in Culver City) south of Washington is at least 44′ wide, and could accommodate bike lanes while maintaining the same number of travel and parking lanes (two 10′ travel lanes, two 7′ parking lanes, two 5′ bike lanes). That would get you a connection to the Jefferson bike lanes.

Now, in the scheme of things, there’s nothing really that wrong with Clarington and Hughes. But this would just be a few stripes. If it didn’t work, things could easily be changed back. Assuming four 4” solid stripes would be needed on each street, the cost would be less than $20,000. You’d also need some new signs and maybe some signal retimings at Venice and Washington, but still, this would be a cheap project. You could also use the opportunity to get rid of a bunch of the extra pavement at Hughes and Expo, but that part could wait. The LA Great Streets project is focusing on arterials, but a small project like this might be able to get off the ground quickly, and show people that the world doesn’t end when you make room for bikes.

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2 thoughts on “One-Way Pair for Clarington and Hughes

  1. AJ

    Buffered bike lanes would be a better fit in this scenario. Two-way cycle tracks are dicey when you’ve got so many driveways, plus the Clarington example would be in the door zone of an already narrow parking lane.

    Reply
    1. letsgola Post author

      Yeah, I don’t like the driveways either. The design was deliberate in arranging the bike lanes so that the bike lane impacted by the door zone has people riding towards the passenger’s field of vision, and so that if you do hit the door, you close it back into the car rather than opening it and slamming into it when it hits the stop. Still, it’s not a desirable setup.

      Buffered bike lanes are not possible without sacrificing a parking lane; there’s just not enough existing pavement. So you’d still have a door zone problem. (I’m not necessarily opposed to eliminating parking, but it is just residents and it would increase opposition to the project.) I chose the cycle tracks because it also puts the 10′ travel lane between parking lanes which will reduce speeds. If the bike lanes are between the travel lane and parking that benefit will not be obtained. Of course, it can be achieved through other means like speed humps, for more time and money.

      I’m certainly interested in seeing other options (and seeing case studies on roads like this if anyone knows of any!). This may be a case of having to chose one of several sub-optimal options, and the one presented in the post may not be the best!

      Reply

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