Cunneen, Michael and O'Toole, Randal
No Two Ways About It: One-Way Streets Are Better Than Two-Ways by Michael Cunneen and Randal O'Toole
The article, No Two Ways About It: One-Way Streets Are Better Than Two-Ways, written by Michael Cunneen and Randal O’Toole is a paper written on the benefits of a one-way street over a two-way street. Before reading this article, I never thought of the theory that making streets more dangerous would in fact make the street safer. But does it work everywhere and what about all of the other factors? According to this article, a man in the Netherlands has practiced this on many urban streets and even Denver in the United States has jumped in on the idea. Denver planners have focused on this theory for years. They made one way streets, which are proven to be more safe, into two way streets which forces drivers to pay closer attention. This article though, does not agree with any of this and they push for one way streets. The photo show below is a photo of a one way street in Paris. It has many walking pedestrians and even though it is only 2 lanes, it isn't backed up.
The article states how after World War II, traffic engineers started converting two way streets into one ways which would not only help with traffic issues but it would also keep traffic moving along. When it comes to the safety of pedestrians as well, less pedestrian accidents occur on way one ways. NP Ave and 1st Ave in Fargo, ND are both one ways that run pretty smoothly during any time of day which give a good idea that these streets work for where they are. If you go South one street to Main Ave, it is a two way and is always backed up. Also stated in this article was the fact that two way streets produced more traffic in areas, which in turn produced for toxins in the air and made the city very polluted in congested areas. Even though businesses were unsure of the idea of having one ways due to possibly losing traffic coming from the other direction, they in fact, gained more customers which helped to push the idea of one ways in cities. This could possibly be because pedestrians may feel more safe on one ways due to having to only worry about traffic coming from one direction, so walking around on the street from business to business is less of a worry. With one-ways, it was also stated that they give a more adequate amount of parking. NP and 1st in Fargo, both have a handful of street parking as well as lots on both sides. The photo below shows parking on a one way and cars moving smoothly down the street. Having less stop lights helps to keep traffic moving and the fact that if their are stop lights, they are for a short time so traffic can get up an running quickly.
Being a pro one way article, they conducted studies on one ways streets and found a substantial amount of evidence that one way streets are more successful than two ways. To them, the idea of making streets more dangerous in order to make it safer in the end, is a crazy idea. It not only is unsafe for pedestrians and drivers, but it does not benefit business’ or the air quality. Although this article isn’t necessarily a case study, it is a study of a theory. A theory of why one ways are better than two ways and the benefits from them. This is important when trying figure out different ways to benefit the city of Fargo’s one way corridor of NP Ave and 1st Ave downtown. All cities are different in how their streets work and if one ways or two ways are more beneficial.
Cunneen, Michael, and Randal O'Toole. "No Two Ways About It: One-Way Streets Are Better Than Two Ways." Independence Institute. Center For The American Dream, Feb. 2005. Web. 22 Mar. 2010. <http://www.independenceinstitute.org/articles/2-2005.pdf>.