More Cities Adopting 'Naked Streets'

In the second post in an ongoing "Shareable Cities" series, Mike Clay discusses "naked streets"—a democratizing, stripped-down street management concept that removes streetlights, crosswalks, and other signage.

1 minute read

June 4, 2014, 10:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Shared Street

Michael Hicks / Flickr

According to Clay, [the] shared space movement advocates freeing the streets from traffic lights, stop signs, zebra crossings, and kerbs, turning them into democratic spaces where all road-users can coexist."

The "naked streets" idea relies on the idea that users pay more attention when there aren't strict traffic rules in place. "Many cities around the world are are [sic] studying the concept of shared space and encouraging pedestrians to cross the street whenever they want. In Britain, Kensington, Chelsea, Coventry, Portishead and Ipswich have already made the move toward becoming more shareable. Outside of the UK, the Belgian town of Ostende, Ejby in Denmark, and Drachten in Holland are introducing trial projects that challenge the importance of traffic lights."

Clay also details some of the cities that have removed or implemented new technology in their traffic lights as well as new technology that improves pedestrian access to public space for the visually impaired. 

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