Thursday, February 20, 2014

Should "Sneckdowns" be installed on Ainsle & Argyle Streets?

It's melting now, but the snow and cold of the last two months have left our local side street intersections narrowed to the point where traffic naturally had to slow down to navigate the restricted area. This natural snow/ice phenomena has been termed a "sneckdown."

DNAinfo recently ran an article about this issue.

Sneckdowns: Logan Square Group Documents Snowy Traffic Phenomenon

Sneckdown at Argyle and Winchester. Notice the snow behind the blue car

As more traffic diverts from the "thinner" Lawrence Avenue, any measure to slow these vehicles down should be encouraged. Mother Nature has done this for us for now (and turned Ainsle into a "one way at a time" street for a while), but the neighbors should consider (and discuss at our next meeting), advocating for curb extensions to be installed on Ainsle and Argyle at intersections from Western to the Metra tracks.

Curb extensions are a positive improvement on many fronts and thus are a great value government spending-wise. They cut the distance pedestrians have to cross at intersections. They have been proven to slow traffic and could deter some drivers from "taking the shortcut at all." Curb extensions help with flood control by replacing about 40% of the asphalt at intersections with plantings and grass. In the winter, they make good spots where the plows could push all of the extra snow.