If we want to build places that are financially productive, we need to identify and eliminate STROADs. A STROAD is a street/road hybrid and, besides being a very dangerous environment (yes, it is ridiculously dangerous to mix high speed highway geometric design with pedestrians, bikers and turning traffic), they are enormously expensive to build and, ultimately, financially unproductive.
The following is a short video that I worked up over the weekend -- something to share with your friends (and any engineers, council members or transportation secretaries, even if they are not technically "friends") -- that will help identify STROADs and then convert them to either a productive street or a road.
Nationwide our transportation departments are functionally insolvent, swamped with liabilities yet holding out hope that someone will ride to the rescue with an outrageous level of funding. Since that is not going to happen, we need to get serious about triage on our highway systems. Eliminating STROADs is the low hanging fruit in this conversation.
Even more than DOT's, local governments are the worst STROAD offenders. Retrofitting the local transportation system to eliminate STROADs is the great task of the next generation of local engineer. Those that can figure this out will not only be leaders in the profession but will attract the most resources, a logical outcome for individuals that add value instead of simply being another expense.
And we don't even have to talk about money to make this change. STROADs are incredibly dangerous. We can justify a lot of STROAD repair using a health, safety and welfare rationale.
Let's turn our STROADs into streets or roads and put our country back on a path towards being financially productive.
If you'd like more from Chuck Marohn, you should really get a copy of his recent book, Thoughts on Building Strong Towns (Volume 1). It is a primer on thr Strong Towns movement and an essential read for those wanting to get up to speed quickly.
You can also chat with Chuck, Nate Hood, Andrew Burleson, Justin Burslie and many others over at the Strong Towns Network. Join the conversation on how to make yours a strong town.