Snowy cul-de-sacs cost more in city services

Now that the snow has finally arrived, this article [.pdf] in “Milwaukee Magazine” might be of interest for those of us living in the newer part of town on the north side.

At some point we have all experienced the effects of traveling through a neighborhood with curly-cue streets and dead-end cul-de-sacs, but there are additional costs when design / engineering  doesn’t focus on connectedness:

Dead End“: Growing evidence suggests the cul-de-sac costs more in city services.

[Jerry Schaefer, Franklin WI  Superintendent of Public Works reports  that:] “A plow can generally clear six to eight traditional streets in the time it takes to deal with one cul-de-sac, which is a 90-foot asphalt circle (on average) comprised of hazards seen and unseen. Operators must carefully locate nooks to pile snow safely and without generating a homeowner complaint.

Counting 16 houses – eight per side – on a straight, block-long street in an average low-density subdivision, a plow will clear streets directly serving 96 to 128 homes in the same time needed for one cul-de-sac.”

“A cul-de-sac takes longer, by far,” says Schaefer. “You could easily plow a mile of street in the time you spend on a cul-de-sac.”

“From a public works perspective, they’re significantly less efficient and significantly more costly to maintain than a normal grid of streets.”

As we look at how to make Round Lake Beach an even better place to live, we should understand how the Codes, Ordinances, and Zoning we count on to help us sometimes make it too easy to say “Yes!” to the wrong things.

MORE (.pdf / Adobe Acrobat)

Link: Milwaukee Magazine

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This entry was posted in Construction / Maintenance, Economics, Planning. Bookmark the permalink.

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