A Planner's Halloween: Unsafe Streets, Haunted Cities, and Clever Costumes

This year's top Halloween costume: a public service announcement to drive safely on Halloween.

Read Time: 4 minutes

October 31, 2018, 12:00 PM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Trick or Treat

Jim Trottier / Flickr

I set out this morning to find all the Halloween-related content I could find. I especially was hoping to find tons of clever new examples of planning-, urbanism-, and transportation-related Halloween costume ideas to add to Planetizen's growing record of the genre.

We'll get to those eventually, but first, I have to point out something I'm sure you'll have noticed as well. By my unofficial count, 99.9 percent of all transportation-related Halloween content amounts to begging the public to drive safely.

If you'll excuse some gallows humor on this most unholy of days: the greatest horror on Halloween is the likelihood of getting run over by a speeding or inebriated driver. Cars are about 43 percent more likely to kill pedestrians on Halloween than a random autumn night, according to data cited in an article by Rachel Becker.

It's like all Halloween fun comes with a disclaimer about driving safely, walking safely, and taking safe rides home, before the fun can even begin. The concern is high enough that some cities have highly-regulated Halloween behavior. It's horrifying that we can't all be safe while walking and driving the streets.

So, like the British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, I have prefaced the fun Halloween content with a lecture. Now here's what I found while looking for Halloween fun on the Internet today, with a few classics of the genre thrown in.

Haunted Cities

There's lots of ways to find spooks in the dark corners of cities. If you're afraid of ghosts, maybe stay home and read about them instead.

Looking for Affordable Housing? Try Near a Cemetery (CityLab)
Looking for cheap rent? Try a haunted house (The Guardian)
A Haunted Tour of the Hudson River Tunnels (RPA Lab)
This Bethesda Parking Garage Might Be The Spookiest Place In The Region (DCist)


I buried the lede, but it's come back to life: planning costumes of course!

Don’t have a costume yet? Try our urbanist Halloween costume generator. (Greater Greater Washington)
Top Twin Cities Urbanist Halloween Costumes for 2018! (streets mn)
Tentacular evil emerges from the Philadelphia Navy Yard (The Architect's Newspaper)

James Brasuell

James Brasuell is a writer and editor, producing web, print, and video content on the subjects of planning, urbanism, and mobility. James has managed all editorial content and direction for Planetizen since 2014 and was promoted to editorial director in 2021.


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