Designing Streets Properly

By Dom Nozzi

My partner posted a short video showing a child on a bicycle being hit by a motorist. A friend noted in response that there were two problems: a speeding motorist and a careless bicyclist.

When streets are properly designed, the INEVITABLE careless, inattentive behavior of adults, motorists, children, animals, bicyclists, walkers, the handicapped, and seniors makes deadly or disabling crashes highly unlikely. As it has stood for the past century, “safety” efforts in street design have made our streets more dangerous than ever, because the design paradigm is single-mindedly focused on “forgiving” motorists for driving too fast and too inattentively.

Only when we reverse this design paradigm so that it obligates slower, more attentive motoring will we move toward achieving reasonably safe, civilizing, pro-city streets.

Shame on us for not replacing conventional traffic engineers with engineers that are pro-city and pro-safety and pro-child. Shame on us for not giving engineers permission to design pro-city and pro-safety and pro-kid streets.

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