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Design Principles at Work

Do tree-lined roads slow traffic?

At a public meeting Oct. 13, 2005 in Wallingford, Conn., residents, the town councilor and the mayor heard proposed plans for street enhancements to Hall Ave. (Route 150), a project estimated to cost $2.3 million. The town is competing for federal money for the project.

The city fathers plan to use the same lampposts and brick sidewalks as on Quinnipiac Street, the gateway to the center of Wallingford.

The Record-Journal (Meriden, Conn.) was on hand at the meeting to report that Mark Arigoni, a landscape architect with Milone & MacBroom, offered that trees planted along the edge of the sidewalk would help slow down drivers, a universal concern for residential communities. Arigoni's contention was that trees close to the road narrow the visual perspective and tends to make drivers more cautious and thus slows them down. He also asserted it would have a calming effect.

We suspect this is true, although as we can attest to in southern Calif., it is not unusual for drivers to hit light poles, traffic signs, utility boxes and trees close to the road, though we admit it's much more pleasant to see nature close to the road than the man made urban structures.

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June 27, 2019, 2:03 am PDT

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