Saturday, March 09, 2019

A Flaw In Street Design May Be Costing Lives

We've worked hard for decades to make vehicles safer for those inside, but pedestrians and cyclists suffer from the design of our roads. The concept in this video from Cheddar really hit home when I taught my kids how to drive. After they learned the basics on the local neighborhood streets, I took them on increasing wider roads to get them used to driving faster, until they were ready to try the interstate highway. Wider roads seem safer, but they also encourage drivers to go faster, no matter what the posted speed limit is. I could go on and on about how wider roads kill community structure and social behavior, but they also literally kill people.

There's a place for highways, to get people from town to town fast, but city streets should be for the people who live there. Wider roads and faster traffic in town mean fewer sidewalks. Houses are built further back from the street, not only for safety but because the road might be widened in the future. That means big useless front yards and neighbors living further away from each other, and people are less likely to get out and walk. That's the way to isolate people from their community.  (via Digg)  


Vireya said...

Humans can be slow learners. When I studied town planning in the 1970s, they were talking about narrowing residential streets to slow down traffic. The Dutch "woonerf" design was the latest and greatest idea at the time. How is it 40 years later and this is still being thought of as just a good idea?

Miss Cellania said...

Vireya, because it's expensive to change roads.

Some neighborhoods have done it, but it takes a lot of political will.