City streets need only few things to make them safe, according to the famous urbanist Jane Jacobs. She says safe streets need people walking around, places for them to go, things for them to do and other people for them to interact with. Simple as that. But Jane forgot one more thing: a sock full of quarters.
American commercial streets are often designed almost exclusively for cars; streets are often as many as eight or ten lanes wide, lengthening pedestrian trips and encouraging motorists to drive at speeds unsafe for pedestrians.
Another week has passed, and some more exciting and interesting ideas have taken root in the world of urban planning.
(Prefatory musing: As the title implies, this is Part 1 in a series. I haven't yet mapped out any of the other parts, but considering the boundless errata that clutter American cities, I anticipate little trouble finding objectionables to raise my ire next time my monthly deadline approaches. I welcome my fellow Interchangers to follow suit.)