February 23, 2012
Great Discussion of LOS and Congestion
A very well-written article at the Project for Public Spaces makes the compelling case for why LOS (level of service) is the wrong tool for sizing streets and roads. LOS is a way of measuring congestion.
As the article makes clear, some congestion is not a bad thing:
Asking the simple question, "Do you want congestion reduced at a particular location?" is a question out of context. It's like asking you whether you want to never be stung by a bee again. Of course, the answer will be yes. But what if I told you that to in order to never suffer a sting again, every plant within a several mile radius would have to be destroyed -- and that you could never leave the area of destruction?
You would have a completely different answer, I'm sure.
Plus, it has cartoons!
But seriously, here in this region we've been actively looking for better performance metrics than LOS (particularly metrics that account for how many people we can move through a corridor, rather than vehicles).
February 24, 2012 7:16 PM
Very well written. Clever. Inconvenient truth.
February 29, 2012 11:52 AM
Garlynn -- Undergroundscience.blogspot.com Says:
In some areas, LOS is used to prevent bicycle projects in particular from being implemented. A good replacement from the bicyclist perspective, however, would get at the relative benefit conferred to bicyclists from a particular project, i.e. a Bicycle LOS would give a sharrow a low score, a bike lane a medium score and a class 1 path or a bicycle track a high score... if they fit into a well-connected network...