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Lewyn Addresses America

A little politics, a little urbanism- I also blog 100 percent on urbanism at and

One common argument for one way streets is that they are safer for pedestrians because pedestrians only have to look in one direction.  In certain places, that might make sense- for example, where a pedestrian is at a midblock crosswalk (or if the pedestrian can safely ignore jaywalking laws and cross midblock).

But yesterday in Pittsburgh I realized that, in the context of a major intersection, this argument isn’t worth so much.  Forbes Avenue near the University of Pittsburgh is a five lane one way speedway.  I cross Forbes on the way to work, and its a big hassle.  Even though it is one way, the crossings are all at intersections where you have to worry about traffic turning left and right from other streets, and wait for a long time as various lights change.  In such a situation, it doesn’t make much difference that the traffic is one way- my major concern is the traffic turning left and right.

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