Monday, November 18, 2013

City Center Streets for Bikes & Pedestrians

Currently we are on the cusp of the movement to convert our streets from automobile only to "complete streets", those that fully accommodate all modes of transportation. This means the creation of bicycle lanes first and foremost. These bike lanes are best made as separate from auto lanes with barrier to get parents with kids and the vast majority of people who will bike to feel comfortable. This means more width sometimes in street section and more infrastructure.

Of course this is wonderful to get the kind of dedicated bike lanes like Copenhagen has but perhaps in city centers we should think about how wonderful narrower streets feel to walk down and that it may be best to turn the street lanes in city centers into bike lanes. A gradual shift from sitting in a high speed vehicle to pedaling to walking as primary mode of transportation can follow the gradual shift in urban fabric from isolated building in countryside to tight walkable medieval pedestrian street city centers.

Sometimes its better to skip the intermediate step of building for current trends and save money by just converting what we have bit by bit.

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