Navigating Shared-Space Streets in the US

At a time when motorists have a smorgasbord of distractions to contend with, select US streets take a taste of a Scandinavian recipe for street design, where pedestrians, cyclists, other motorists, and even trees are blended together intuitively.
October 15, 2008, 7am PDT | The Intrepid Staff
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"The new approach, called 'shared space,' is showing up in Seattle, Portland (Oregon), San Francisco, Santa Monica, and other cities on the West Coast; in Cambridge, Massachusetts, New York City, and other places in the East; and in scattered places in between, such as New Town at St. Charles, Missouri, and the South Main development in Buena Vista, Colorado."

"Patrick Siegman of Nelson\Nygaard argues that in the US, mixing of pedestrians and vehicles is less novel than many take it to be. 'Most large parking lots - for example, those at shopping centers and grocery stores - effectively function in ways that are very similar to shared spaces on European shopping streets,' he observes. Siegman suggests that Americans have been operating in shared spaces - if drab ones - for decades, without being aware of it.

Perhaps, then, the shift to shared-space streets will be less of a shock than the skeptics think."

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Published on Monday, October 13, 2008 in New Urban News
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