Two Lanes on Bank Street, an Experiment

If you’ve been paying attention (and you are certainly under no obligation to do so), you know I’d like to see Bank Street reduced to two lanes. I’m not even going to link to the blog post I wrote last year or the year before, or all the tweets I’ve punched out. My opini0n is pretty well-established.

The other day, I was walking north on Bank Street at 4:30 pm, smack dab in the middle of rush hour. I was on the west side of the street, so I was facing traffic, looking up Bank from Fifth. Between Fifth and Fourth, there was a cop car stopped in the curb-side lane, which is, technically, a no parking zone. There are supposed to be two clear southbound lanes for rush hour.

(The cop seemed to be talking to someone. I have no idea why, and don’t mean to imply the cop shouldn’t have been stopped there…regardless, this whole parenthetical is completely beside the point. Aren’t you glad I wrote it?)

The traffic heading south was forced into one lane, and, you know what?, there was no impact on traffic whatsoever as far south as I could see (so, to the crest of the bridge). This is just how it was while Lansdowne was being developed and the road was permanently down to one lane. It was absolutely sufficient for traffic purposes.

For some reason, most of the cars stayed in the one (centre) lane. In fact, the only slow downs happened as drivers decided to switch into the second lane, slowing down to signal, look and change lanes (all good things).

So, yes, there is clear evidence that Bank Street absolutely does not need to be two lanes in our urban areas.

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