A dense network of streets creates the conditions for faster response times. Better pedestrian and automobile safety and excellent response times is a win-win. So why are fire officials undermining this network with calls for wider streets?
Planners and urbanists are familiar with the many instances when fire and life safety codes conflict with quality urban design. The city of San Francisco is currently embroiled in policy conflict over the width of its streets.
All buildings in Los Angeles taller than 75 feet are required to have a flat surface on the roof where helicopters can land, according to a fire department-mandated code. Now leaders are thinking about updating that code -- and the city's skyline.