Home > Design the Details > Ya basta! Stroad Busters unite!

Ya basta! Stroad Busters unite!

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Stroad reminder

It’s only fitting after last night’s planning commission discussion about one of Traverse City’s main streets with a serious identity complex, 8th Street, that we run Strong Town’s latest video explaining the stroad concept.

Quick reminder, a stroad is road, or a street, that doesn’t serve either intended purpose well. They suck economic life out of corridors and they often, if anyone is left, suck the literal life out of people trying to move about.

via Strong Towns

As the creator and author of the stroad concept, Chuck Marohn, explains the importance to act now:

Even more than DOT’s, local governments are the worst STROAD offenders. Retrofitting the local transportation system to eliminate STROADs is the great task of the next generation of local engineer. Those that can figure this out will not only be leaders in the profession but will attract the most resources, a logical outcome for individuals that add value instead of simply being another expense.

I also believe it is imperative that we, Traverse City, turn our stroads back into streets as soon as possible. It isn’t going to be easy, but could be a lot of fun with a huge pay off. All it is really going to take is will and commitment to go beyond what we see along these corridors today.

Reader Comments

There were two comments on the subject from yesterday’s post.

Nate Elkins, from Influencedesignforum.com, took a look at the Corridor Master Plan and calls for more vision and commitment to raising our expectations:

Two steps forward, two steps back

It sounds like the Traverse City corridor planning process very quickly (and unfortunately) turned into another “cookie-cutter” approach.  A report that uses paraphrased planning garb from the latest publications and engineering how-to manuals instead of considering new context-sensitive solutions.  I especially enjoyed reading about land-use and the no-brainer recommendations that infill development should occur in vacant lots….

It seems that all to often Traverse City’s big city contracts backfire…leaving everyone that much more frustrated for the next planning project.

I want to challenge the Planning Commission to consider ordering up some homegrown talent.  Why not use local designers?  They have a sense of current and ongoing projects, understand the context, and are passionate about the community they live in.

And, Boardman Neighborhood resident, Mike Coco, just wants to cross the street:

Of all the possibilities for 8th street, having safe pedestrian crossing at Franklin is a must.  Crossing at that location leads to a relatively new TART trail connector, Library, community gardens behind library, businesses at the old depot, Hull Park, Boardman Lake, Boardman Trail, safe passage to Central Neighborhood via TART to Oryana, TACS sailing, and more I’m sure I’m forgetting.  TART through town (East-West) goes down Washington…this is a great place to make a crossing to Boardman Lake trail.

There was talk of a mid-block crossing of 8th between Franklin and Railroad.  Most users coming from Boardman Lake down Franklin will not go to mid-block to make this crossing.

I think T-shirts are in order…

* Last night’s planning commission meeting can be viewed here

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What’s your thought’s on a stroad near you? 

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Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are that of the author and do not represent the opinions of writers previously published here or any of the organizations, committees, commissions or other affiliation the authors may belong to, unless so stated. 

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