Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Complete Streets: It’s About More Than Just Bike Lanes



Complete Streets and Clarence Eckerson, Jr. have produced another great video that demonstrates that making improvements for bikes and pedestrians, improves the safety and comfort for everyone. It also shows how New York has taken control of some of their streets and have shifted the priority away from the car and share the streets for all users.

Over the last four years, New York City has seen a transportation renaissance on its streets by not only striking a more equitable balance in providing more street space for pedestrians, bicyclists and buses, but also creating much-needed places to just linger and gaze around in a safe spot, sit down, or meet friends amid the sometimes-chaotic pace of the city.

The video above looks at three of New York City's most recent re-designs: Columbus Avenue, 1st & 2nd Avenues, and Prospect Park West (in Brooklyn) and show you how almost everyone (even drivers!) benefit from the safer, slower streets. They interview transportation engineers (with nearly 100 years of combined experience), elected leaders, community board members, pedestrians, cyclists and business owners to get their take on the newly configured roads.

The truth is: no matter how hard the news media tries to convince you otherwise, these new projects have tremendous community support and the benefits go beyond just cycling. The physically-separated bike lanes bring with them traffic-calming improvements; shortened crossings for pedestrians, a more predictable street for drivers, the chance for more greenery and - in the case of the East Side - dedicated bus-only lanes with camera enforcement.

One of our longest Streetfilms at 11 minutes, I urge you to sit back and take this all in no matter what side of the issue you think you are on. You're likely to be enlightened.

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