Breaking! Roads and streets don’t look the same

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Chuck Marohn‘s concept of a stroad is freely used here on MyWHaT. It is an elegant phrase giving a name to those public corridor’s built myopically to move motorized traffic despite the context of their surroundings and long-term needs of a community. Obviously, it is created by combining what the stroad behaves as, a road, and what it often pretends to be, a street. Traverse City is bordered by a series of them and bisected by one of the most blighted.

The blog, Stroad to Boulevard, posted an interesting idea on the stroad concept by comparing contrasting screen grabs from Google image results for “road” and for “street.” Interesting results.

The author nails it with this passage, followed by a passage from the US Federal Highway Agency supporting his point:

Designing a street to encourage high speeds (with multiple wide 12 foot, 3.6m, lanes, larger corner radii, full clear sides) is dangerous madness. But it is the standard design for collectors and arterials across North America, because traffic engineers believe more space means safer streets. Since more space means higher speeds, this is clearly false.

Yet, not just in Traverse City, but across the country engineers continue to propose wider, straighter, and, as a result, faster.

My request: Please stop, thank you.

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NOTE: For those interested and feeling wonky, Chuck Marohn will be presenting at Michigan Municipal League’s Annual Convention in October. 

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Have a weekend!

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