What's a Stroad and Why Do Stroads Matter?
Charles Marohn writes an explainer post about stroads for Strong Towns, answering the second question posed in the headline above thusly: "If we want to build towns that are financially productive, we need to identify and eliminate stroads."
According to Marohn, streets and roads are two different things, and stroads create a hybrid of both of them. Streets are a platform for building wealth, and "[o]n a street, we're attempting to grow the complex ecosystem that produces community wealth," writes Marohn. "In these environments, people (outside of their automobiles) are the indicator species of success. Successful streets are environments where humans, and human interaction, flourish."
Roads, on other hand, connect productive places. Marohn suggests thinking of roads as like a railway, but on for cars.
Stroads then are like futons, says Marohn: "just as a futon is neither a particularly good bed nor a particularly good couch, a stroad is neither a particularly good road or a particularly good street."
With that helpful explanation in place, Marohn goes to put the onus on departments of transportation to take responsibility for the threats posed by stroads, and return them to more productive uses. To supplement the article, Strong Towns also produced the following video, to further drive home these points.