I received an email while on vacation asking my opinion on the One Way Avenue Study currently posted to the Borough web site (http://www.conshohockenpa.org/borough-services/planning-and-development/one-way-avenue-study)
Generally, I don’t think it is a bad idea. If nothing else, I have to give credit to Borough Council and the engineers on rethinking the problems we have with parking and traffic control in a new and interesting way. (Full disclosure, I live on W 5th Ave and my street would be in scope for a one-way avenue)
So, what are we looking at here? The JPGs on the site are pretty difficult to decipher but the idea is that any street that does not have a traffic light will become one-way away from Fayette street for one block only. This will prevent traffic heading towards Fayette from making a turn and forcing drivers to utilize a signalized intersection. By reading the engineers study, I assume the traffic issue is not with cars making the turn with traffic (i.e., making a right turn into traffic) but rather making a left turn and crossing over Fayette. The one-ways will force drivers to utilize a signalized intersection to make the left turn and go straight. This will result in a safer, more controlled turn into the lane.
So, my opinion? I’m indifferent. I have to admit that when I need to make either a left turn across traffic or cross the street, I almost always pick a street that has a signal. It is safer, easier and a lot less stressful. The positives the one-way avenue provides seem pretty good. They will produce an additional 170 parking spots and it will be a solid, positive impact for safe access Fayette Street.
On the downside, the report mentions an increase in traffic volume, increase in traffic queues at signals and inconvenience to drivers. Looking at both the positives and negatives, it is my opinion (as well as the engineers conducting the study) that the positives outweigh the negatives and I feel the one-way avenue modifications are probably a good thing. Will the Borough actually do it? Unlikely. I have a feeling the residential feedback will be such that it won’t get pushed through. We’ll see!