Tuesday, June 27, 2006

On the road

Once upon a time:
"Most people living in cities didn't think fast cars belonged in streets. When cars hit pedestrians, it was always the driver's fault."
"But some people wanted to give cars a rightful claim to street space. By casting doubt on pedestrians' place in the street, it strengthened cars' claim to street space."
"By 1930, 'jaywalker' was routinely applied to pedestrians engaging in street uses that had once been beyond reproach. By then most people agreed (readily or grudgingly) that streets are chiefly motor thoroughfares."
And now:
"For the past century, America's love affair with automobiles has meant that motor vehicles have ruled American streets. Despite sporadic efforts to assert the rights of pedestrians and bicyclists, that culture prevails."

Yet, some are hopeful:
"While America's roads may be perfect for gas-guzzling cars and disposable travelling, they don't have to be used that way."

And some are helpful:
"State highway departments have been taking big roads and narrowing them, adding bike lanes and trails. In the last 10 years, engineers have increasingly looked for ways not to speed cars along but to slow them down."

A Slow-Road Movement?

1 comment:

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