Strong Towns member, Paul Fritz, recently blogged about the picture below.

I’ll let him elaborate..

The City of Sebastopol recently debuted its most recent attempt at slowing traffic in town. Created by local sculptor Patrick Amiot, Slow Down Cat is seen as a way to enhance local traffic safety and help the police department enforce safe speeds while building goodwill between the community and police department. 

Slow Down Cat reminds me of one of my favorite Strong Towns memes.

Looks like we need to create a variation of this meme: If you need a giant cat to tell people to slow down..

This is an artist's rendition. Unfortunately the city doesn't actually have the guts to put the cat in the middle of intersections, just off to the side so that drivers can easily speed past it.

This is an artist's rendition. Unfortunately the city doesn't actually have the guts to put the cat in the middle of intersections, just off to the side so that drivers can easily speed past it.

It goes without saying that Slow Down Cat does not address the fundamental problem here: streets that are designed poorly in the first place. These are stroads that favor traffic speed and volume over people and safety. I’ve had the opportunity to check out Chuck’s newest presentation, based on our e-book, A World-Class Transportation System. One of my favorite slides is this one:

If speed and traffic volume are the top priorities in a street design, you’ll get speed and volume. In essence, the driver is being given two conflicting messages: the street design says: drive fast while the signs (and giant cats..) say: slow down.

More and more engineers and planners are beginning to understand that wide streets lead to people in cars driving fast. Unfortunately, sometimes it can be hard to get through.

Check out the rest of Paul’s post to see what it could look like if Slow Down Cat were to get more assertive!

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