Success! We have been wanting to get PennDot to take the unTOLL booth survey and these nice surveyors completed one.
Based on casual observance by the members and employees of Street Road Artists Space, the unTOLL Booth has served as a deterrent to trespassing. Once the it was installed, vehicular traffic in the cut-through decreased. Although not state sanctioned, the unTOLL Booth seems to have served as a symbol of authority and to have created a boundary on the property and rerouted traffic to the road.
The Survey results for Route 41 unTOLLed Stories revealed some surprising results. Most respondents (39%) were recently local residents. 19% of respondents were born and raised in the area. 35% of visitors reported that they were just passing through. When asked what type of road Route 41 should be, 52% of respondents thought the road should remain a two lane road, whereas 42% thought the road should be widened to a four lane thoroughfare . 39% of respondents thought of the road as a country road and 29% thought the road was a good connector.
To increase safety, the installation of a traffic light was favored by 19% of respondents. A traffic circle by 35% and "other" by 32%. In discussion with the community. The term roundabout (as a traffic calming mechanism) is the correct and preferred description of the round structure and may be the "other" respondents were referring to.
Most respondents were unaware that they were trespassing (68%). The remaining 32% were aware that they were trespassing. Asked why they were trespassing, 42% said for arts sake while 19% said for safety and 19% said they were curious.
A large portion of the results were collected during the opening, closing and special events for Arterial Motives. Most favored the site to remain a destination Arts Center (32%) with other choices such as a bank, convenience store, trampoline park and field of dreams sharing the remanding percentage of the responses.
The unTOLL booth has been operational for over a month. Fewer vehicles are trespassing and using the Street Road property as a right of way. Is it the official symbol of authority that the booth imposes? Do motorists assume their actions are being watched? Is the booth a deterrent to freedom of movement? This plywood and plexiglass structure changed the traffic pattern and behavior of motorists at this intersection.
Across the country, gated communities block access of certain areas to the general public. Security is promised, but is safety achieved? And at what cost? Who or what else is being kept out of these neighborhoods? Is the interchange of ideas limited by limited access?
Up and down the coasts in the United States, private communities bar the general public access to oceans. Is it appropriate to block access to the ocean for miles with gatehouses and security details? Do residents become sequestered citizens? The tides ebb and flow and the line in the sand constantly changes. Below are images of gatehouses which prohibit entry to neighborhoods that are adjacent to the sea. Are sentinels to the sea necessary?
Tom Savage is the craftsman extraordinare who revived the Street Road cottage when it was a falling down shack held together by a bit of old tar paper. He and his team are the expert builders behind the unTOLLed Stories booth, and though we knew it'd turn out wonderfully, it's much more than than we ever imagined, a remarkable work of craftsmanship. Thank you thank you Tom and thanks to your team - Neal Hess and Matt Buskell. We are so excited to see this thing in action all summer - Felise and Emily
unTOLLed stories, by Felise Luchansky and Emily Artinian is a participatory artwork that's part of Street Road's Arterial Motives exhibition. Open on Fridays from 3-4pm, and Saturdays from 1-2pm for the duration of the exhibition, unTOLLed stories is a toll booth on the Street Road site. Drivers are paid a toll in exchange for participating in a survey about local traffic – especially the habit of local drivers to use the Street Road property as a short cut.