A few weeks ago Jane and I were lucky enough to spend a long weekend on Manhatten (thanks to our folks for watching our kids!). Go to flickr (here) for a bunch of photos I took of intersections and bike/pedestrian treatments (and yes I deserve some grief for being a geeky traffic engineer). I would have liked these photos when I was working on the painted bumpouts in Pine Island, MN – feel free to use them.
Several traffic observations:
- Holy cow that's a lot of bike/ped vehicle traffic mixing. New Yorkers eek every ounce out of the system by jaywalking, merging late, running yellow lights.
- We only saw one fender bender. I thought our cabbie was going to get us into a couple just getting to our hotel from JFK.
- The signal systems are tiny. They must be a lot cheaper than the systems in Minnesota.
- Signal controllers look quite old and I heard the clunking of a mechanical controller. The system is so saturated, I really don't know if operations could be much improved with updated signal controller technology.
- A lot of innovative treatments (see photos) to improve life for bikes and peds.
- We used the subway a lot and loved it. Amazing how crowded they were even on a weekend.
- Should have warn a pedometer. We were on our feet for 10+ hours a day.
- And yes, I walked all of the way across the Brooklyn Bridge and back (I don't know how any civil engineer could skip that).
- Kind of hard to talk about congestion in Minnesota now that I've experienced New York City.
- Non-traffic but worth noting – The 9/11 Memorial was amazingly well done.