Smaller Service Vehicles

Service and emergency vehicles should be designed to accommodate the dimensions of streets, rather than streets being dimensioned to accommodate such large vehicles. Pick vehicles designed for streets and do not design streets for vehiclesDesigning streets for large vehicles is backwards for safety and quality of life. We need the dog wagging the tail, not the tail wagging the dog. As Peter Swift showed in his Longmont CO study, over-sized streets and intersections leads to an increase in vehicle speeds and motorist inattentiveness, which leads to an increase in injuries and deaths caused by the increased number of car crashes. This increase in injuries and deaths far exceeds the number of injuries and deaths avoided by larger fire trucks and faster fire truck speeds. Designing streets for the largest possible vehicle (such as a bus, semi-truck or firetruck) is counterproductive worst-case-scenario design which creates the detrimental unintended consequences of excessive speeds andBig Firetruck inattentive driving, due to excessive intersection and street dimensions. The irony is that the larger streets intended to improve public safety by reducing firetruck response times actually results in a net loss of public safety, because there is an increase in injuries and deaths due to the increased street dimensions. The increased number of car crashes caused by excessive street dimensions far exceeds the reduction in injuries and deaths from reduced firetruck response times.London Small Fire engine


About Dom Nozzi

Urban designer, Complete Streets instructor, smart growth specialist, town planner, walkable streets and bikeable streets and trails specialist, writer, editor, public speaker, world adventurer, skier, kayaker, SCUBA diver, bicyclist, hiker, dancer, book reader, cook, urbanist.
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