Sharring experiences in urban infrastructure delivery.

Avoiding signs to reduce sidewalk clutter

By: Tom Davis Category: Misc Urban Infrastructure, Sidewalk Features, Signage

The state law in Texas requires a message 15 feet from each radius point of an intersection to restrict drivers from parking so close to the turn that other drivers cannot see on-coming traffic.CIMG7426.JPG If that message is on a typical sign then the intersection has  four more pieces of clutter in the form of a galvanized  or zinc-coated post adorned with a blue sign with its bolts and nuts. If the installation  is like most then we would also have a base plate bolted to the sidewalk with four bolts that soon start rusting. In general this will not create a positive streetscape amenity.

In downtown, the city through its Parking Management Division, installed red thermoplastic striping with a white border in that area of the curb lane to convey the message that no parking is allowed. The stripping includes  the message “NO PARKING” created with inset white thermoplastic letters. The message meets the requirements of the state law and avoided having four more signs with posts at each intersection.

Many thanks to the Traffic and Transportation Division of the Department of Public Works for developing the stripping design, preparing a demo for stakeholder comments and the Parking Management Division for having it installed in hundreds of locations.

The striping was installed at the time solar powered pay-and-display parking meters were installed and the old style parking meters  were removed. That removed six to eight posts with parking heads from the sidewalk area on each side while avoiding four new ones with the thermoplastic striping. I will soon post articles about the transition to the pay-an-display meters as it was  not easy but worth the trouble–but that is another story.

An Aside – Perhaps you, like me, have not been impressed with the durability of thermoplastic stripping in high volume traffic areas. In this  location there is a much lower volume of traffic than in the locations where the thermo is failing early. So far–three years later–the stripping is not showing signs of coming off the pavement.


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