Toledo Talk

Is Toledo's City Engineer wrong?

http://www.toledoblade.com/local/2011/12/26/Making-1-way-streets-easier-to-travel-stymies-city-officials.html

Modifying the traffic lights at Huron and Adams to emphasize the change from two-way to one-way traffic, he said, is a step the city cannot take.

The traffic signal for northbound traffic on Huron has standard red, yellow, and green lights. Were the green light changed to two green-arrow heads, with one arrow pointed left and the other pointed right, drivers headed toward that signal would be less likely, especially at night, to miss the Do Not Enter signs and proceed straight past a green light.

But Mr. Stookey said green arrows can't be used there because of the intersection's crosswalks.

"Once you put that [a green arrow] up, that's a protected movement," the city engineer said. That means motorists would legally be allowed to make turns "without having to worry about pedestrians."

From the MUTCD:

Standard:
03 The following meanings shall be given to highway traffic signal indications for vehicles and pedestrians:

Steady green signal indications shall have the following meanings:
Vehicular traffic facing a CIRCULAR GREEN signal indication is permitted to proceed straight through or turn right or left or make a U-turn movement except as such movement is modified by lane-use signs, turn prohibition signs, lane markings, roadway design, separate turn signal indications, or other traffic control devices.

Such vehicular traffic, including vehicles turning right or left or making a U-turn movement, *shall yield the right-of-way to:
Pedestrians lawfully within an associated crosswalk*, and
Other vehicles lawfully within the intersection.

In addition, vehicular traffic turning left or making a U-turn movement to the left shall yield the right-of-way to other vehicles approaching from the opposite direction so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time when such turning vehicle is moving across or within the intersection.

Vehicular traffic facing a GREEN ARROW signal indication, displayed alone or in combination with another signal indication, is permitted to cautiously enter the intersection only to make the movement indicated by such arrow, or such other movement as is permitted by other signal indications displayed at the same time.

Such vehicular traffic, including vehicles turning right or left or making a U-turn movement, shall yield the right-of-way to:
Pedestrians lawfully within an associated crosswalk, and
Other vehicles lawfully within the intersection.

Pedestrians facing a CIRCULAR GREEN signal indication, unless otherwise directed by a pedestrian signal indication or other traffic control device, are permitted to proceed across the roadway within any marked or unmarked associated crosswalk. The pedestrian shall yield the right-of-way to vehicles lawfully within the intersection or so close as to create an immediate hazard at the time that the green signal indication is first displayed.

Pedestrians facing a GREEN ARROW signal indication, unless otherwise directed by a pedestrian signal indication or other traffic control device, shall not cross the roadway.

So according to the MUTCD, traffic facing a GREEN ARROW is permitted to enter the intersection and turn in the direction of the arrow, but MUST yield to lawful pedestrians, but said pedestrians SHALL NOT cross the roadway when facing a GREEN ARROW.

A steady GREEN ARROW signal indication:

Shall be displayed only to allow vehicular movements, in the direction indicated, that are not in conflict with other vehicles moving on a green or yellow signal indication and are not in conflict with pedestrians crossing in compliance with a WALKING PERSON (symbolizing WALK) or flashing UPRAISED HAND (symbolizing DONT WALK) signal indication. Vehicles departing in the same direction shall not be considered in conflict if, for each turn lane with moving traffic, there is a separate departing lane, and pavement markings or raised channelization clearly indicate which departure lane to use.
Shall be displayed on a signal face that controls a left-turn movement when said movement is not in conflict with other vehicles moving on a green or yellow signal indication (except for the situation regarding U-turns provided in Paragraph 4) and is not in conflict with pedestrians crossing in compliance with a WALKING PERSON (symbolizing WALK) or flashing UPRAISED HAND (symbolizing DONT WALK) signal indication. Vehicles departing in the same direction shall not be considered in conflict if, for each turn lane with moving traffic, there is a separate departing lane, and pavement markings or raised channelization clearly indicate which departure lane to use.
Shall not be required on the stem of a T-intersection or for turns from a one-way street.

So if they have pedestrian signals, they have to be set to give a protected pedestrian crossing phase not conflicting with traffic.

Reading MUTCD and not being able to visualize this intersection in my head at the moment, I'm not sure it's prohibited from them putting up signals that are Red/Steady Yellow Arrow/Flashing Yellow Arrow there.

Vehicular traffic, on an approach to an intersection, facing a flashing YELLOW ARROW signal indication, displayed alone or in combination with another signal indication, is permitted to cautiously enter the intersection only to make the movement indicated by such arrow, or other such movement as is permitted by other signal indications displayed at the same time.

Such vehicular traffic, including vehicles turning right or left or making a U-turn, shall yield the right-of-way to:

(a) Pedestrians lawfully within an associated crosswalk, and
(b) Other vehicles lawfully within the intersection.

In addition, vehicular traffic turning left or making a U-turn to the left shall yield the right-of-way to other vehicles approaching from the opposite direction so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time when such turning vehicle is moving across or within the intersection.
Pedestrians facing any flashing yellow signal indication at an intersection, unless otherwise directed by a pedestrian signal indication or other traffic control device, are permitted to proceed across the roadway within any marked or unmarked associated crosswalk. Pedestrians shall yield the right-of-way to vehicles lawfully within the intersection at the time that the flashing yellow signal indication is first displayed.

Reading the MUTCD gives me a headache, but I think replacing the greens with Flashing Yellow Arrows and putting up a "Turning Vehicles Yield to Pedestrians" type sign pretty much a) makes clear that traffic cannot continue through the intersection into the oncoming one-way traffic, b) turning traffic must proceed with caution and yield to pedestrians, and c) is about the cheapest fix the city can pull off.

created by anonymouscoward on Dec 26, 2011 at 05:20:50 pm     Other     Comments: 4

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Comments ... #

This discussion shouldn't even be necessary.

The morning rush into downtown Toledo and the evening rush out of downtown Toledo was over a long time ago. Why don't they just admit it, make them all two-way, and be done with it.

posted by holland on Dec 26, 2011 at 08:42:14 pm     #   1 person liked this

Parking, geographical/engineering constraints, cost?

posted by anonymouscoward on Dec 27, 2011 at 01:51:11 am     #  

Good point holland. I work downtown, and the commute in is a breeze. I really think all one ways should be made two ways. It's a no-brainer.... but that's the problem. ;)

posted by upso on Dec 27, 2011 at 09:25:12 am     #  

From my February 2007 ReUrbanism meeting notes

Downtown two-way streets

  • Citizens are asked to encourage local officials to support Downtown Toledo's two-way street project idea.
  • Jefferson will probably become a two-way street after arena is built.
  • Goal is to also have Madison made a two-way street too.
  • In the past few years, some downtown one-way streets have been made two-way.
  • Two-way streets, supposedly, make it easier for visitors to navigate Downtown Toledo.
  • More downtown visitors mean more support for the downtown businesses.

posted by jr on Dec 27, 2011 at 11:10:15 am     #