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Rant: Why aren't Michigan lefts the standard on new arterial streets?

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kernals12:

--- Quote from: Max Rockatansky on July 16, 2021, 07:52:48 PM ---But itís still a factor.  It probably is a more difficult sell to plan an arterial road with a huge median versus one that follows a more conventional width.  That wide median means less room for development along the arterial highway.

--- End quote ---

I didn't think about that. Who needs enormous improvements in throughput and safety? Won't someone think of the strip malls and car dealerships!

kernals12:
MA 9 through the Golden Triangle, a massive retail area, in Natick and Framingham, probably has just enough width to accommodate Michigan Lefts. Not to mention how much nicer it would be if the rusty metal guardrail made way a nicely landscaped median that could also serve to drain the enormous volume of stormwater runoff from the massive parking lots in the area that frequently floods the Speen Street underpass

Max Rockatansky:

--- Quote from: kernals12 on July 16, 2021, 07:56:56 PM ---
--- Quote from: Max Rockatansky on July 16, 2021, 07:52:48 PM ---But itís still a factor.  It probably is a more difficult sell to plan an arterial road with a huge median versus one that follows a more conventional width.  That wide median means less room for development along the arterial highway.

--- End quote ---

I didn't think about that. Who needs enormous improvements in throughput and safety? Won't someone think of the strip malls and car dealerships!

--- End quote ---

I mean, those properties do generate money and tax revenue.  Kind of a difficult sell to propose a road that will be more efficient in flowing traffic but attract less develop along side it. 

Another consideration worth noting is how willing the traveling public will be to accept more difficult access to businesses for the sake of better through traffic flow?  Example; on Grand River Avenue one often couldnít just turn left into a business and had to flip a U-turn at the next Michigan left.  That U-turn process isnít as often seamless as you think it is, especially it involves driving several blocks past where you want to go.  People in Metro Detroit might be used to that, but in places like Florida they would lose their minds about not being able to turn left into a business. 

jakeroot:
The Michigan Left's waterloo could be its main draw: throughput. Do new arterials really need the capacity offered by Michigan Lefts? Or is a five lane road with TWLTL sufficient?

On top of that, they can get so aggressively wide and take so much land, they simply aren't practical in some areas. Land is so expensive in the Seattle region that building a Michigan Left corridor is basically out of the question. Too much land. WSDOT has already spent 30 years buying land for a new freeway (WA-167), and you'd need to widen a road dramatically to make it a true Michigan Left corridor.

There's also the simple matter of there not being any new arterial streets. Most development in Seattle is infill. The only new roads are neighborhood streets and some arterial widening as necessary.

They are also miserable experiences for pedestrians. The lack of consistent four-way intersections creates long distances between "given" crossing points (those created by the simple intersection of two streets). Speaking of long distance walks: the crossings are very long too, and you often have to deal with double right turns that frequently have only a yield condition.

The only time I think they could be used is along corridors with either a busway in the centre or maybe a rail line down the median (either raised or at-grade).

1:

--- Quote from: jakeroot on July 16, 2021, 08:22:38 PM ---They are also miserable experiences for pedestrians. The lack of consistent four-way intersections creates long distances between "given" crossing points (those created by the simple intersection of two streets). Speaking of long distance walks: the crossings are very long too, and you often have to deal with double right turns that frequently have only a yield condition.

--- End quote ---

Just cross one direction at a time when it's clear; it will periodically clear out due to the traffic signals. If you're walking along it, it doesn't have to be at an intersection.

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