Strong Community Snippet #3: Livable Street Initiatives

01/11/2010 § Leave a comment

When we look out our living-room windows at our streets we usually see spaces for car travel, especially if their edges are lined with parked cars. A kid may see a space for playing games; the stick ball of past generations has given way to first-bounce-fly, capture-the-flag, and touch-football. Bmx bikes and skateboards can turn these areas into urban stunt-parks for late teens and 20-somethings. I can’t remember the last time I had a dream of playing in a street, but I used to. I am a part of the majority of adults who only use the street for transportation. I bike and use public transit now; occasionally, I’ll drive. Livable street initiatives have been challenging these steadfast notions of streets as spaces for cars for some time, although now they seem to be gathering clout. Pedestrians seem to be (re)claiming street space, and the creation of new types of street experiences may start to shift popular thinking a little. Possibly a loaded question…are we wasting space and muting our culture by designing streets solely for cars/transportation?

Read:

New York Times: Taking Back the Streets

Watch:

Making a better Market Street in San Francisco

The ongoing transformation of Market Street. Features a cool historical introduction.

Intersection Repair

The hippies in Portland show what concentrated power behind these ideas can accomplish.

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