I’ve discussed the issue of lane width several times on this blog (here and here). Main Street in Sebastopol has absurdly wide travel lanes. This is largely a legacy of the days when a train rumbled down the center of the street. But the train is long gone and yet we have lanes that are up to 17′ wide. I walk Main Street several times a day between my office and home and people drive really fast. And I’m the first to admit that it’s difficult to stick to the posted 25 mph speed limit when driving in an 17′ wide lane. It really takes attention and effort to drive 25 mph here. And I’m uber-aware of the situation. Most people don’t give a second thought to traveling at 35+ mph on Main Street.
This article discusses several recent studies that demonstrate the benefits of a 10′ wide travel lane in reducing accidents and being able to move just as many cars as a wider lane.
We need to right-size our streets in Sebastopol, and around the country, if we are serious about slowing cars and improving pedestrian and bicyclist safety.