By Dom Nozzi
Creating one-way streets was popular a number of decades ago as a low-cost way to quickly move high volumes of traffic through downtown. Perceived benefits included:
Improved Traffic Flow. One-way streets, by removing on-coming traffic, reduce the “friction” that motorists experience on a street. This tends to reduce motorist delays and increase motorist speeds because the perception of risk is reduced. The street is perceived to feel more like a raceway, and drivers tend to drive at the highest possible speed at which they feel safe. On a “raceway,” that “safe speed” can be quite high.
Lower Cost. Compared to road widening, conversion of a two-way street to one-way operation is a comparatively cost-free means of increasing traffic volumes and speeds on a street. (However, research has shown that the highest volumes are carried on streets that have speeds of no more than…
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