Space for people

As driving rates continue to decline across our region, we can expect to hear more walkers, bikers, and bus riders clamoring for a larger share of space on our public streets. … there’s still plenty of scope for short-term, smaller-scale and less-contentious actions to win more space for people.

The first thing to recognize is that there actually is a lot of wasted space on the streets that cars don’t (or at least shouldn’t) use. What’s more, it would be fairly inexpensive — both fiscally and politically — to start handing over more of this space to pedestrians.

The winter before last, I wrote a blog post for the Philly urbanism blog This Old City looking at snow formations on E. Passyunk Avenue after a storm, to see what they would tell us about the options for redesigning streets.

This is excerpted from Jon Geeting’s NewsWorks piece focusing on how to maximize Philadelphia’s pedestrian space.

I wrote recently about State College’s master plan for the next few years. A key aspect of the plan is maximizing pedestrian space in the downtown area, widening sidewalks, etc. These things calm traffic and improved the experience of residents and visitors alike. It’s almost crazy they’re even issues of debate.