Thursday, February 4, 2016

A transportation wish list for the new mayor

On February 25 transportation advocates will conduct a mayoral forum to discuss their respective transportation policies, should they have any.

This got me thinking not so much about big policies (ok, all transportation needs to be thought about regionally, transportation must be seen as an environmental  justice matter) but more about a wishlist of very specific things that could be done in short order and that would move Baltimore into a different league when it comes to transport.
Pedestrians First!

Pedestrians:
      
Pedestrians first for all decisions (including snow removal)
No city sidewalk without street trees
No sidewalk under 6' clear width at any point
No pedestrian push buttons on any fully signalized intersection in downtown
No closure of sidewalks for construction in downtown area without protected ped parhways on the same side of the street
Pedestrian heads on all traffic signals
All crosswalks uniformly and clearly marked and enforced
Pedestrian and bike routes that connect downtown to neighborhoods across MLK and President streets
No through lanes directly along unprotected sidewalks

Transit Second!

Transit:

Transit has second priority

·         One ticket policy across all modes and providers in the region (MTA, bikeshare, watertaxi etc.)
Prioritized transit with transit only lanes, signal priority, bulb outs at bus stops
Self sustaining Charm City circulator through parking tax surcharge, benefits districts and stakeholder contributions
An Around the Harbor circulator from Canton Crossing to Fort McHenry
Work closely with MTA to ensure that the Link Plan becomes a success
Do nothing to jeopardize a later revival of the Red Line and plan for full Baltimore Rail Plan
Proactive transit oriented development, no un-built or fallow sites around any rail transit stations without development plans within the next four years
Work with Uber/Lyft/Veolia and MTA to have full “last mile” integration


Water Transit:

Combine water taxi and commuter taxi services into one seamless operation for efficiency and cost reduction
Make the service year round, faster, reliable and integrated with other transit (integrated fare based on Charm Card)
Install demand based fare system (potentially keeping commuter service free but requiring use of a Charm Card Card) that is integrated with the one ticket system
Safe bicycling: Protected bike lanes Copenhagen

Bicycle 

Fully implement the bicycle masterplan
Fully implement the bikeshare program currently in procurement (integrate with one ticket system). Add electric bikes as an option for elderly riders.
Bicycle repair and rent co-ops as job creation and workforce development


Streets/ Parking/ Car share

Complete streets policy for any city street except freeways
No rush hour parking restrictions on any streets with residences and retail lining the street
Maximum speed on all streets with residences and retail ling the street 30 mph, 25mph inside all residential neighborhoods, strict enforcement
Fewer one way streets and more two way streets based on community
Fewer traffic signals more four way stops
A full red light and speed camera system based on crash data
No minimum parking requirements. Parking garages will be mostly obsolete within 25 years
Plan for self driving vehicles (AVs). 
Plans for an innovation district limited to AVs as a pilot. 
Get federal grants, make Baltimore a leader in considering AVs so they are a benefit to cities.



This wishlist is not complete by any means. Its more intended to think what could be possible without a lot of money (for the most part) and to get us thinking what kind of BC-DOT we would like to see.


Klaus Philipsen, FAIA

Register for the Transportation Forum here!

An article about "Tactical Urbanism" in tomorrows weekly blog post will discuss how transportation can benefit from it.