What I Got Out of CNU 22

MLewyn's picture
Queens Boulevard in Forest Hills, NY

My favorite CNU 22 panel was one on street design.  The panelists (including Victor Dover and John Massengale, authors of a new book on street design) discussed a variety of walkable streets.  For me, the most memorable point was Massengale's discussion of a gigantic arterial in Barcelona; he pointed out that this seemingly very wide street accommodated pedestrians by 1) placing its slowest lanes (with on-street parking that slows down traffic) on the outside, so that at least part of the street did not have dangerously fast traffic and (2) using medians and street trees to make the faster lanes less ugly and less lethal (because pedestrians could get shade from the trees, and did not have to cross the entire street at once).

Afterwards, I thought about how this would apply to Queens Boulevard, a half-reformed arterial in Queens.   Qn the positive side, Queens Boulevard has element 1- slower lanes with on-street parking on the outside.   On the negative side, the Queens Boulevard medians are so narrow that it might be a bit scary to stand on them while waiting for traffic (see photo above).


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