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November 11, 2015

A Modest Proposal to fix Oakland Traffic using Existing Procedures

In the wake of three recent fatalities and known deficiencies in car traffic flow through Oakland, resulting in injuries and death for both cyclists and pedestrians, there have been many proposals to improve conditions. It's a complicated problem space because there are State roads, City roads, and once options start being described they may over-extend the scope and accrue political resistance.

Rather than inventing a new wheel, suppose we could use existing procedures to bring significant benefit to Oakland car safety? What if we could find an existing process that slows cars down around schools?

This defines school zones:

This bit of PA law 212.501 establishes school zones within the scope of 3365(b):

This is what 3365b says:

Fascinating to note that school zones are not limited to elementary or high schools, that they include areas where one side of the street is a school building, and that they extend to include bus stops students use for school.

This leads us, then, to ask: why not use existing laws and procedures to declare school zones around Pitt, CMU, and Carlow? Granted, it would only take effective for the hours when students are walking to-and-from class: probably Monday-Friday, 8am to 9pm (night classes). It might extend to Saturday if the analysis warrants that.

This would bring major improvement without the need for any new legislation or construction budget. Nobody would lose any existing parking. It would only need signage.

If Pittsburgh can legislate sick-days for large employers, and decriminalize marijuana, we can surely do this.


Reddan said...

I very much like this idea. (The cynic in me says it'll be irrelevant sans, I dunno, a will for actual enforcement; that said, still worth a shot.)

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