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Chicanes In My Neighborhood

With sincerest apologies to Fred Rogers, let's go for a walk in Clarence Eckerson's Neighborhood - where you will see a livable streets phenomenon created by (gulp!) double-parked cars.

On alternate side of the street parking days, many communities in Brooklyn have worked out a deal so car owners are allowed to double park with impunity so the streets can get their weekly brushing. (Okay, let's not touch that argument today.) During the interim switchover when drivers are relocating their cars - usually lasting about 15 to 20 minutes - chicanes are temporarily created, which delightfully slow car speeds to more human levels.

We're always trying to enlighten the public here at Streetfilms, by getting inventive using already existing street reality to placate opponents of traffic calming. (Remember our snowy neckdowns?) To add, yes, I have seen vans and small trucks successfully navigate narrow blocks like these. Also please note: in my travels, typical neckdown installations are usually much less drastic then the conditions created here.

<br> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Clarence Eckerson Jr.:</i> [00:02] Throughout my neighbourhood here in Brooklyn to show you a phenomenon that occurs thousands of times a day in New York City which would support traffic calming called Chicanes. </font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman">[music]</font> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Clarence Eckerson Jr.:</i> [00:22] Essentially what happens is where we have alternate side of the street parking regulations going on. So that the streets can be cleaned, people double-park on the other side of the street. And what happens is during the time when they’re making this switch over, chicanes are created naturally be the way the cars are laid out on the street. </font></p> <p> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"></font></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman">[music]</font> <br></p> <p><font size="3" face="Times New Roman"><i>Clarence Eckerson Jr.:</i> [00:50] During like the 15 minute period between cars being moved from one side of the street to the other, some will stay on the side of the street that still needs to be cleaned, and on the other side of the street you’ll still have some people double-parked. And what it creates is this kind of gentle slalom down the street where cars can’t go barrelling down, they have to take note that there are obstacles in their way so they have to alter their route and go kind of at a curvy motion down the street. So this is another example of just how these things can work in New York and people just need to be enlightened to the fact that chicanes are already a reality here, so why don’t we build them? </font></p> http://transcriptdivas.ca/transcription-canada/
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  • http://railwaypath.org SteveL

    I'm not sure how cycle friendly these are. An aggressive cyclist would have to acquire the central lane and not let any vehicle past, but anyone timid would get boxed in by the parked car and the big vehicles moving alongside.

    Furthermore, here in Europe, trying to see how fast you can get round chicanes is sometimes a sport all of its own, a way to show off your driving skills to your friends.

    That said, they do provide a good notification of transition from fast rural speeds to slow urban ones, such as when entering a village. But should rural speeds be so fast in the first place?

  • http://RooseveltIsland360.blogspot.com Roosevelt Island 360 (Eric)

    This was a great little video to show the value of Chicanes. When present day Roosevelt Island was laid out street wise they purposely did not create one long avenue from end to end for various reasons aesthetically and to prevent traffic patterns of speeding cars. Chicanes develop naturally to a degree on the Island but not due to street cleaning. Cars are never allowed to park on the East side of Main Street and the number of parking spots on the West side are limited so we get a number of cars double parked at all times for loading and off loading including our own bus system which does a lot to slow down car traffic. Thanks again for the video.

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