Shrinking Cities Seek to Shrink Streets

In Rust Belt cities like Flint, Michigan, a loss of population translates to less cars on oversized streets. Angie Schmitt examines how Flint, and other cities like it, are trying to right-size their transportation infrastructure.
October 30, 2013, 6am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Tony Faiola

"Here’s one innovative new idea out of Flint that was a long-time coming and should be emulated in cities across the Rust Belt," writes Schmitt. "Flint is planning to reduce excess vehicle capacity on its streets by implementing road diets that make room for walking and biking. Road diets 'are central' to the city’s in-progress regional plan, known as Imagine Flint, according to a recent report by the Detroit Free Press."

"Other 'shrinking cities,' like Youngstown, Ohio, have tinkered with ideas for reducing the size of their built transportation infrastructure," she adds. "Youngstown’s talked-about proposal was to actually tear out underused streets, a plan that has proved more viable on paper than in practice."

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Published on Tuesday, October 29, 2013 in DC.Streetsblog
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