Open Street, Closed Street

Next American City talks with urban designer Mike Lydon about opening streets to people and closing streets to cars in this second of a two-part conversation.

Lydon is the founding principal of The Street Plans Collaborative, an urban planning, advocacy, and design firm that focuses on open streets projects and bicycle planning.

"Next American City: What's your view on shutting down the roads that surround a park, or shutting down a stretch of highway, as opposed to the connecting routes that you've seen elsewhere?

Mike Lydon: We've researched all types of routes. I think your answer really depends on what the goal of the initiative is. If it's the Ottawa, Canada – or the "parkway" model – which is closing your highway or river drive or roads within a park, then that's clearly for transportation and nice accessibility within the park itself, and its more purely recreational. If that's your only intent, then that's model is great.

But If you have a much larger idea in mind – if you're trying to get people to neighborhoods, have a cultural, social, economical, and political impact – then you really do have to think about using the more Bogotá, or we call it the "Cleveland" model or the "San Francisco" model, where cities really activate the public space to become in a way the linear playground for people."

Full Story: Part Two: Bike + Planning Talk With Mike Lydon

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