Sustainable Roundabouts presented to Michigan Association of Planning in a Pecha Kucha format


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New thinking on how Roundabouts are sustainable from 2010 Michigan Association of Planning

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  • Today, you will not hear the typical presentation engineers have been giving about roundabouts. Today, you will learn how to communicate about and evaluate roundabouts vs. traditional intersections using the language of Sustainable Planning, so you can help frame the public discussion when they are appropriate. I would be pleased to present this to your community, and have a 15-30 min. presentation showing other intersection innovations that hit the Triple Bottom Line.
  • Thousands of Sad stories -- Mommies, Daddies, Children. Health care costs for survivors. A drain on our economy. About 25% of those at intersections – barely 2% of our system Hey George Bush: Intersections are the Axis of Evil
  • Can we please kill less freakin’ people???? , Won’t get in-depth on environmental
  • Le’ Arc de Triumphe - Paris
  • We All Know conventional wisdom isn’t. I dare you to walk across this: 21-22 total lanes: Problems – Limits to adding lanes, delays, land costs, safety, non-motorized inequity. Echelon Elevated Interchange in Aventura, FL
  • … and how about for teenagers. The bottom is a Wayfinding Signage Plan from an FHWA manual – Good Luck with that!!! Hamburger Intersection in VA
  • … And we’ve probably all heard the typical engineer presentation, some of us Ad Nauseum “Moves more cars and its Cheaper”. Uh-huh. Apply my Golden Rule For Public Works “Can my Grandma deal with it?” HA!!!
  • So let’s dig into Bottom Line facts quickly – again, this is a lot to throw out in 7 minutes. Typical Engineer is right: Cheaper to build, Cheaper to maintain dramatic delay reduction saves Social and Business Costs. Despite the recession being “over” (I have no job) has anyone noticed there is a crapload LESS money available for the next, like, forever!! Breathing is Good When Compared to a traditional intersection, 99.5% of pedestrians are better off. My grandma should be walking, not driving anyway!!!
  • 90% Less Death is good. (Insurance Institute of America, FHWA) 75% Less Injuries is good plus 75% reduction in legacy health care
  • Roundabouts are not the right answer everywhere!! And design is much trickier!! But Compare traditional vs Roundabout and other alternatives if these factors are there.
  • Now let’s get to local streets in Your Town. Be prepared for Peds as #1 Public Concern: Counterintuitive #1: Peds are safer when its busier – 2 Driver decisions, 1 st Peds, then Entry Stacked Cars help due to Stop Bar 1-2 Car lengths In Front of Pedestrian, And when there’s no traffic --- No Problem for Peds Counterintuitive #2: Moves cars significantly faster, while calming traffic.
  • Intersections are bad for you, but unlike smoking, you can’t even try to quit. To thwart the Axis, people gotta compare to regular– Driver has 75% less decisions – more time to watch for peds. Secret to ped safety is minimizing contact time with THE PLACE WHERE CARS ARE SUPPOSED TO BE!!!
  • So its about 24 secs to cross this 6 lane for me – it says DON’T WALK before I’m done. Vs. RAB 2- 8 second chunks and a refuge island in between as shown on last slide And peds have 75% less decisions too. Trust me, Seniors and Disabled hate anything more than 3 lanes. Did I mention 90% reduction fatalities??
  • Less Impervious, Less Delays, Breathing is Good: There is a reason that Feds allow SEMCOG to fund roundabouts 100% through CMAQ (Air Quality) funding. By the way, can’t you see the aesthetic opportunity. Google Roundabout and Landscaping, especially State of Kansas hardcover of 80-some Roundabouts
  • But what about Pedestrians and Two or Three lane roundabouts– here’s a new one near a Hospital with some very intensive pedestrian uses at the Maple/Drake intersection, especially on Saturdays, the Jewish Sabbath. By the way, I have another hospital/roundabout story, the short version is that its important to remember that most people head to the ER in an ambulance or a car, and they probably couldn’t get across the old intersection either. My hospital RAB story: Won a job for an problem intersection that broke again in 4 years based on concept design of others. RAB cost 20% more, had triple bottom line. Excuses by the head of Planning for UM, the #1 funded research institution in the US, at $626 Million – the Innovators “ There’s never been a roundabout by a hospital” “ People won’t be able to find it” It’s the giant freaking Stalin era concrete monolith dominating the Huron River Valley with not ONE but TWO gigantic blue M’s on it – the only visible building for ¼ mile approaching the intersection. They’re building a roundabout in 2012!!
  • Pedestrian Actuated
  • Next time you are part of a problem intersection, think about the 6-7 key areas where innovation results in sustainability, and tell the client to find an engineer who has alternatives to address those points: safety, mobility for all, land costs/use, const. costs Echelon Elevated Interchange in Aventura, FL
  • Land – ROW Costs PLUS loss of taxable value in perpetuity. Signals include SOCIAL/SAFETY
  • Sustainable Roundabouts presented to Michigan Association of Planning in a Pecha Kucha format

    1. 1. Intersections: The Axis of Evil How Roundabouts are a Sustainable Alternative, and When They Make Sense Evan N. Pratt, PE All Intelligent Statements by: Stephen B. Dearing, PE, PTOE
    2. 2. <ul><li>Roadways Are The Most Dangerous </li></ul><ul><li>Public Facilities </li></ul><ul><li>On The Face Of The Earth </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In the U.S., about 650 PEOPLE DIE each week. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Same as 3 Plane Crashes… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>EACH WEEK !?! </li></ul></ul>
    3. 3. SOCIAL: National Crash Statistics THE REAL AXIS OF EVIL
    4. 4. ALTERNATIVES ANALYSIS GOAL: TRIPLE BOTTOM LINE <ul><li>Social – Improve Safety AND Mobility for all, Delays </li></ul><ul><li>Financial – Construction and Land Cost, Cost of delays </li></ul><ul><li>Environmental – Air pollution, impervious </li></ul><ul><li>THERE IS NO PERFECT ALTERNATIVE! </li></ul>
    5. 5. THE PROBLEM: Too Many Dogs In Cars
    7. 7. THESE look fun…
    8. 8. TO PARAPHRASE <ul><li>“ The…problems…we have created cannot be solved using the same thinking we used to create them..” </li></ul><ul><li>SO WHAT ARE THE NEW IDEAS? </li></ul>
    9. 9. <ul><li>TYPICAL ROUNDABOUT RETROFIT </li></ul>
    10. 10. CASE STUDY : US-23/THOMPSON RD Roundabouts vs. Traditional <ul><li>FINANCIAL: Can Save $8,000,000 of OUR $$ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Highest value/cost ratio </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>75% Less Construction $$, no ROW </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Less crashes, Less Delays = Less cost </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SOCIAL: ( Less Death is always Good ) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>90% Reduction in Fatalities & 76% Reduction in Crashes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pedestrian refuge </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dramatic LOS Improved: A vs. C in 2025 = 30 sec/vehicle </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ENVIRONMENTAL: ( Breathing is also Good ) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Least delay=Less Greenhouse Gasses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Less pavement (not always the case) </li></ul></ul>
    11. 11. ALTERNATIVES -- SAFETY: Average annual crash frequencies at 11 U.S. intersections converted to roundabouts - FHWA Roundabout Guidelines
    12. 12. WHERE TO CONSIDER RAB’s <ul><li>Capacity problems </li></ul><ul><li>Safety problems </li></ul><ul><li>ROW or other constraints on more lanes </li></ul><ul><li>Large left turn turning movements </li></ul>
    13. 13. <ul><li>SOCIAL: #1 CONCERN = PEDS </li></ul><ul><li>COMPARE TO EXISTING </li></ul><ul><li>2 COUNTERINTUITIVE POINTS </li></ul>
    14. 14. SOCIAL: Thwarting the Axis of Evil Less Conflict Points = LESS DEATH
    15. 15. Environmental and Social Before – Ashley, NC
    16. 16. ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL After – Ashley, NC
    18. 19. SOCIAL: Driver’s view of Ped Actuated HAWK Signal in West Bloomfield Township
    19. 20. WE CAN DO BETTER!!
    20. 21. $25 to $30 M $12 to $15 M FINANCIAL -CONSTRUCTION -LAND -TIME O/M: -SIGNALS -PAVEMENT Diverging Diamond
    21. 22. QUESTIONS?? Placemaking in a Roundabout by a hospital in Bahrain