You’d slow down if a bear was in the road, wouldn’t you?
Driving through some beautiful national parks last week it became clear to me. The description I’ve been looking for is, simply put, a park road. If you look at a park road, you will see something that, while engineered, is generally rather modest in its design and construction. They are built with the contour of the land, are designed for slow speed and low impact. While you would certainly have to deal with issues of stormwater and snow removal, my engineering instincts tell me that parks roads would generally be cheaper to construct and last just as long as the STROADS we build today.
Now park roads through suburbia won’t be lined with trees, wildlife and monuments, but there is no reason why this approach could not be immediately adapted to the construction, maintenance and retrofit of America’s financially unproductive places. The only resistance I envision (because residents of suburbia would generally prefer more modestly-sized streets, although they may balk at the longer drive times) is from engineers. They will, without justification, put forth the notion that park roads would be dangerous.
So how dangerous are park roads? I don’t know, but Yellowstone has over 3 million visitors per year and I would suspect that almost all arrive and travel by car. I found this article discussing bear attacks that had statistics suggesting fewer than three auto-related deaths per year.