Today’s Wednesday Wisdom come from Better Streets: Whatchu whatchu whatchu want?
Many communities today are reconsidering how they construct and maintain their streets. Groups like the National Complete Streets Coalition and the Better Block Foundation have been pushing for streets that meet the needs of more than just cars; they argue that that people walking, biking or (*gasp*) loitering, all have the same right to safely use streets as cars. However, when changes are proposed that benefit people over cars, they often receive angry push back from residents, who don’t want to see their commutes made any longer or more difficult.
According to Scott Doyon of Placemakers, one way to open discussion on ANY road changes is to clarify the role that a particular stretch of road is meant to serve: is it a link or a place? Most assume that roads automatically serve as links but as Doyon points out, roads are public spaces that”we, the public, can divvy up any way we want.” Once that is clarified, communities can start seriously considering what they want a particular road to be: do they want it to be something that saves them time (as a link) or somewhere they can spend time (as a place)? Whichever one they choose will then determine the types of changes made, some of which Doyon summarizes. To learn more, you can access the article here.