StreetsBlog USA — "How to Fix a Fork (in the Road)"

"Forks often need fixing because they create complicated intersections with dangerous sight lines and signals with too many phases, impeding the flow of both vehicles and pedestrians. Forks are fixable because they hold redundant roadway, an excess of asphalt that serves no purpose except to encourage higher speeds and lengthen crossing times.

...The challenge in Kenmore Square is that there are no cross-streets for rerouting traffic as in the above examples. The only opportunity lay in my client’s own site, which, if vacated, could become a cross-street instead. The good news was that the resulting street layout would create a new building site much larger than the old one.

...In addition to removing asphalt and drastically shortening crossing distances, this change should also reduce dangerous driving by interrupting sight lines through the square. While it requires more turning motions, the new configuration adds efficiency by simplifying the main traffic signal from four phases to three. This outcome is the result of pulling the transition from Commonwealth to Beacon out of the square, so that it no longer conflicts with pedestrian flows. The result is a Kenmore Square whose heart is a public space rather than a busy roadway."

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(c) MAQE and Studio Gang

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