A “sneckdown” is a term for photos taken after a snowstorm that show the usage patterns of vehicles, illustrating how roads and intersections could be changed without affecting the desire lines of the traffic using the road. Narrowing roads can help pedestrians to cross more safely as well as help to lower car speeds, since drivers naturally drive faster on wide roads. Photos of these snow-neckdowns are posted to social media with the hashtag #sneckdown.
One of our members, Clark Mackey, sent in this example of a #sneckdown from Kenilworth, based on the 12/9/2017 snow event. Here’s what Clark said:
“I saw your call for sneckdown photos and the intersection of Forest Hill Drive and Sherwood in Kenilworth caught my eye. This intersection is unusual: It is very large and it has many pedestrians using the sidewalks. It also occasionally produces near-collisions as cars heading east on Forest Hill veer north, at speed, to take advantage of the easy radius curve onto Sherwood. Similarly, cars descending Sherwood sometimes roll the stop sign and flow onto Forest Hill, headed west, toward Biltmore Ave. But both of those vehicle groups do so while unable to clearly see the approaching traffic that actually has the right of way, which includes all the traffic leaving Kenilworth on this main neighborhood road. It’s also an Asheville bus route and quite close to the intersection of Forest Hill Dr and Biltmore. It is the main entrance to this neighborhood. I took some photos of the unused portions of asphalt, shown covered in snow, and drew some quick mock-ups on top of an aerial view.”
View looking east, down Forest Hill Dr, from the middle of Sherwood. Possible sneckdown outlined in chalk:
View looking North, from sidewalk on Forest Hill Dr, showing the full intersection, with multiple sneckdown opportunities:
Option #1 is based on the part of the intersection that vehicle traffic is not using:
Option #2 is based on the thought that delaying an eastbound vehicle’s ability to turn north would improve sight distance and result in fewer “car turned right in front of me!” near-misses.
And option #3 combines the two approaches:
We love this stuff! Please send us any similar photos that you take. Tag us on Twitter where we are @AshevilleonBike. #sneckdowns are a great tool for illustrating how roads and intersections can be improved.