Despite NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s “Vision Zero” plan to reduce traffic fatalities, pedestrian deaths are on the rise in New York City. In fact, traffic-related deatshs continue to be a problem throughout the State of New York. One of the reasons for this is poor road design, resulting in so-called “stroads” that combine the worst features of streets and roads.
A road is intended to be a high-speed connection from one destination to another, while a street is designed for low-speed travel within those destinations. Unlike roads, streets are intended to function as activity centers for both drivers and walkers. Chuck Marohn, a former traffic engineer, coined the term “stroad” to describe a street/road hybrid. Highways often bleed into stroads, which, with multiple lanes and wide shoulders, are designed like small highways. Stroads are also similar to streets because they typically have lower speed limits, several intersections, sidewalks, and multiple points of access to properties along the stroad.
An unintended side effect of stroads is that they encourage fast-moving drivers who are used to driving at high speeds on similarly designed roads. In many rural areas, stroads function as the town’s main street. This means that pedestrians and bicyclists are more likely to use these potentially unsafe roadways.
Other downsides to stroads include:
- Dangerous when highway transitions into a stroad with no warning: Drivers don’t feel comfortable driving at lower speeds so soon after getting off the highway.
- Wide lanes induce higher speeds for cars, leading to severe injuries in car accidents.
- Wide shoulders create less room for pedestrians to safely walk on sidewalks.
- Intersections cause turning drivers to cutoff pedestrians.
- Multiple access points cause congestion and traffic accidents.
- Inefficient for travelers
- Expensive to build
- Lower property values: Lack of pedestrian traffic on stroads can devalue the surrounding property and discourage expansion of existing businesses.
- Fewer retail sales: High travel speeds discourage drivers from noticing signs and stopping.
- When businesses fail, the adjacent land is often converted into parking lots: This kind of land use is not financially productive and can further depreciate property values in the surrounding area.
If you’ve received a traffic ticket or been involved in a motor vehicle accident anywhere in New York, contact the experienced traffic defense lawyers at the Law Office of James E. Tyner, PLLC. For your free initial consultation call 866-642-3807.