The History and the Flaws of the Cul-de-Sac

This episode of <em>99% Invisible</em> looks into the history of the cul-de-sac, and why its design flaws overpower its benefits.
June 21, 2011, 12pm PDT | Nate Berg
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"When people critique cul-de-sacs, a lot of the time, they're actually critiquing the suburbs more generally. The cul-de-sac has become sort of like the mascot of the suburbs– like if suburbia had a flag, it would have a picture of a cul-de-sac on it. Cul-de-sacs by definition aren't well connected to other streets and they are far away town centers. People can argue whether or not these are pros or cons, depending on what lifestyle choices they prioritize. For little kids, cul-de-sacs can be great, but they do have some real, quantifiable design flaws."

And through the lens of the film E.T., the cul-de-sac is explored as an example of some of the pros, but the piece also delves into the street design's flaws.

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Published on Saturday, June 18, 2011 in 99% Invisible
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