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» Why Did Castro Street Even Have 21' Traffic Lanes in the First Place?


After months of work relocating utilities and sidewalk widening, repaving is about to begin on Castro Street. The extra space comes from narrowing traffic lanes so absurdly wide they could be two lanes, and often are with cars double parking.

Once upon a time there were two lanes in each direction…


Until the 1906 Earthquake and Fire the Castro Street Cable Car ran on Market Street from the Ferry Building to Castro Street where it made a left and travelled over the hill to 24th and Castro. With the cables and power-houses in ruin transit operators quickly put up overhead wire to run streetcars on the surviving track.

Streetcars and cable cars couldn’t make it over the hill to Noe Valley, so when cable car service was restored, it was only between 18th and 24th Streets. That’s where it met the 8-Market Streetcar line that continued the rest of the way down Market Street to the Ferry Building.

With streetcars laying over on one side of 18th and cable cars on the other, the wide lanes we nessacery if cars and trucks were to get around them.

The cable car was replaced in the early 1940s by the 24-Divisadero bus line while the 8-Market continued as a streetcar line, then a bus line, then a streetcar line when it was replaced by the F-Market. It’s only been a bit been over half a century since Castro Street actually needed those 21’ wide streets.

» Observing, analyzing Portland's stop sign culture

"I used the legal “complete stop” threshold for determining whether behavior qualified as stopping or not. As I tallied up hundreds of commuters, this standard revealed itself as less and less useful when comparing cars and bikes. Because of their slower overall speed, bike riders have just as long, if not longer, to approach an intersection, observe the participants and determine whose turn comes next. For the most part, they slow down sooner and move slowly for longer as they evaluate the timing and safety of crossing. Rarely does this require a complete stop. When a bike rider does make a complete stop, it takes longer for her to get started again than it does for someone driving a car.

As drivers, we approach intersections faster, decelerate later and faster, and spend less time gathering data about the likely traffic pattern. We are also able to accelerate quicker when we start up again.

Because of these dramatic differences in auto travel speed, acceleration and deceleration, when a car driver approaches a stop sign and rolls through without actually coming to a complete stop, it looks more like a stop than when a person does exactly the same thing on a bike. I wondered if police officers are able to overcome this optical bias.

Experienced Portlanders, whether behind the wheel or on the saddle, probably agree that not stopping can often be the most courteous thing to do at intersections. If done safely, it allows the next intersection participant to make their move sooner. “California stoppers” in cars and on bikes tended to treat the other vehicles as respectfully as traditional stoppers, and, I like to think, made the entire interaction more efficient.”

read more: bikeportland, 05.06.14.

there are two infamous traffic circles in portland, and they both have stop signs before entering the traffic circle, which totally defeats the purpose of traffic circles / roundabouts!

i googled myself again. (gotta try to get the correct links to the top!)
and found that another photo of mine got used in an article!
this time on a more legit website, the atlantic’s citylab (crossposted on nrdc’s switchboard blog).
yay! i’m contributing to the world by letting people use my photos under attribution! hooray for creative commons licenses!
i don’t know how the author was able to find my photo, though. flickr somehow messed up all my tags and smushed them into one long word as one tag.. i just fixed it.
anyway, it’s a good article. topic has been discussed before, but if you’re not familiar with it, go ahead and read it. basically about how kids have been designed out of the streets—schools in sprawled locations, effects on kids’ development, etc.
a city with no children. atlanticcitylab, 11.11.13.
i forget how exactly to blend images together in photoshop.. and i don’t want to look up a tutorial. but you get the idea.. 
view from the urban center on psu campus, where i spend a lot of my time. streetcar tracks and plaza below, student rec center (gym) opposite, and sw hills in the backdrop.
glad i get a break from being there almost every day!
finished half of grad school!

emailed in my last final paper at 16:30, then went to campus to catch the workshop presentations by the second-year students (congrats!). holy crap they have super professional-like reports (example: Washougal Waterfront Plan).. looks like so much work for next year T____T;;; anyway..

biked back home, got up salmon st. hill on my second-highest gear feelin’ strong, stopped by the supermarket and one of my fave store-available “gourmet” ice creams was half-off! yeah snoqualmie (from washington) lavender! also picked up a chocolate stout. :D

i’ll be back in the 510 (east bay, bay area) next week. if any of you guys are in the area, lmk and we can totally tumblr meet-up!

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