Using Snow to Show Real Street Behavior

Source: http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/72440000/jpg/_72440028_sneckdown_anntd2.jpgThe next time it snows, rather than get grumpy because you can’t ride your bike or frustrated because people aren’t shoveling the sidewalk in front of their house… grab a camera.  Why you might ask?

I happened upon an article on the BBC website which I thought was absolutely brilliant.  In this article, Kate Dailey made the argument that the uncleared remnants of snow fall show the actual portions of the road where people and vehicles travel.  Look at the picture to the left.  In it, you can clearly see how much area is dedicated to vehicles that they don’t actually need.

Now ompare this picture with an engineered neckdown.Source: http://sinoconcept.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/what-are-neckdowns-traffic-calming-300x187.jpg  Notice the structural similarities between the actual area used by cars and the engineered solution?  Also notice how much less road the pedestrians in the engineered neckdown need to cross?

Neckdowns are part of the tool set proponents of the Complete Streets movement are encouraging city and state planners to adopt when reconstructing intersections.  One has to ask, if cars can handle using only this portion of the road after a snow storm, couldn’t they adapt to using the same amount of road at all times?

So the next time it snows around here, I’d encourage all of you to go out, grab a camera and see if you can capture some images of nature made traffic calming solutions.  Share the pictures with us and we will start to build up a collage.

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