#SlowtheCars is our campaign to make streets safe and prosperous.
Until communities get serious about slowing the cars, pedestrians will continue to take safety into their own hands…often in very creative ways.
Slip lanes are the quintessential embodiment of what happens when speed is the #1 priority and safety becomes secondary. They are incredibly dangerous for pedestrians. Yet states and communities keep building them. Why?
Vision Zero aims to end all traffic deaths. Can they do it on a national scale?
The first step toward making your community a stronger place is articulating what’s wrong with the status quo. Strong Towns gives local advocates the vocabulary to do this—just ask member Michael Smith of Rockford, IL.
A deep, dredged ship canal is a recipe for catastrophic flooding in a hurricane, whereas a coastal marsh absorbs the surge of water in a way that lets life continue to flourish. This analogy has something important to teach us about urban streets.
Using routine traffic stops as a pretext to root out other types of crime is as disingenuous as it is unhelpful. We need to design intuitively safe streets—and then use traffic enforcement for the minority of drivers who are actually driving recklessly.
Two simple photos show the difference between a street simply designated 20 miles per hour, and one actually designed to be safe. We can't regulate our way to safety.
Why Slow the Cars?
Strong Towns advocates for financial solvency and productive land use in American cities. Places that are built for people, using traditional development patterns, can help us achieve both of those goals. On the other hand, neighborhood streets with wide lanes, huge clearance zones and other dangerous design features cause thousands of pedestrian and car passenger deaths every year. Dangerous roads do not make productive use of our land or our lives. Furthermore, they depress investment in our cities by making our neighborhoods less pleasant places to be.
People are the indicator species of success. We know that pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods are more economically productive, healthier and safer. We need to build places where people want to be.
Are you an elected official who wants help making streets safer and more productive in your community?
Are you an engineer or planner who wants to start implementing real, no-nonsense approaches to safer, more productive streets?
The Iowa Department of Transportation helps educate the public with this video explaining why reducing an urban street from 4 to 3 lanes can be a win-win for drivers and pedestrians.
3 dollars and cents arguments that definitively prove the need for people-oriented, walk-friendly places.
As a cycling advocate, I avoid talking about the times when riding a bike in the city is scary, because I don’t want to deter would-be new riders from giving it a try. There’s only one problem with pretending I’m never afraid: it isn’t true.
By providing the language to explain why fast-moving "stroads" are so treacherous, we hope to empower cities to make them safer.
Michael Brown was stopped by police for walking in the street. A lack of sidewalks makes this the daily reality for many Ferguson residents.
What's a Stroad?
Strong Towns coined the term "stroad" several years ago to describe the over-built, over-wide streets you find in suburbs, towns and cities throughout America. A street is a platform for wealth creation, and a road is a high-speed connector between two productive places. A stroad is a dangerous hybrid of both.
We call this "the futon of transportation" because, like a futon, which is neither a good bed nor a good couch, a stroad is neither a good street nor a good road. Let's turn our stroads into streets or roads, and put our country back on a path towards being financially productive.
(Top photo source: Michigan Municipal League)