Daylighting background

One of the recommendations made by Transportation Alternatives for immediate implementation is “daylighting.” What is daylighting? Very simply, it’s the removal of parking spaces where cars block the view of drivers entering the avenue.

Here’s a scene we’re all familiar with. Why is this car blocking the crosswalk? Because the driver can’t see the cars coming down Skillman. Here’s what the driver would have seen if they had stopped at the stop line:

Yup, that’s right, a big ol’ SUV, with two cars behind it. If you view the full-size picture and squint, you can kind of see that there’s a car coming behind it. If your seat was up high enough to see through the SUV, that is. But with the speed those cars are going, are you going to come to a full stop and trust that kind of judgment? No, you’re going to pull as far out into the crosswalk, and into the avenue, as you can, to make sure nothing’s coming.

When “daylighting” is implemented, those parking spaces are eliminated and usually filled in with curb extensions and bollards to keep people from parking there anyway. This allows the drivers to see if cars are coming down the avenue.

Just half a block away is an example of daylighting in action. “No Parking” signs were put up along 52nd Street at the corner of 39th Drive. This works very well when placard abusers don’t park there. It’s a lot easier to see cars coming up the block, isn’t it?

When I got to the corner of 51st and Skillman, I discovered that we had an example of “accidental daylighting,” caused, I believe, by alternate side rules and the big pickup truck not leaving enough room for a space. Here’s the driver’s view: clear!

This is why we want daylighting on Skillman: it reduces the likelihood of a crash, and it reduces the motivation for a driver to sit in the crosswalk in order to see cars coming. Isn’t that worth giving up a few parking spaces?

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