Thursday, June 26, 2008

Historic Urban Planning: Traffic changes benefit redevelopment

City Planners are often developing solutions to get traffic from A to B as quickly as possible. In Urban neighborhoods the goal is slightly different, the goal is to get traffic to slow down. The restoration of an urban neighborhood involved bringing families back and it means kids and
pedestrian traffic. From a planning standpoint you want to create walking areas, This post is somewhat ties to the earlier series of posts on dealing with urban issues and today we will look at how different neighborhood in other cities created areas to improve the walkabality factor and as a result encourage restoration and new construction.

One option is the elimination of cross streets: Cincinnati has many narrow one or two lane cross streets. This could allow for the creation of a pedestrian esplanade. Lighting is changed from the higher pole street type lighting, to a lower pedestrian friendy lighting. This improves safety at street level and reduces crime.
The placement of public fountains in wider intersections and the creation of "roundabout" navigation can also slow vehicular traffic down in an urban neighborhoods while providing focal points of neighborhood pride. While this is a "higher dollar" project, often fundraisers or corporate sponsorhips can be used to fund these types of community projects while the city provides just the infrastructure.

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