The forgotten history of how automakers invented the crime of “jaywalking” – Vox

“In the early days of the automobile, it was drivers’ job to avoid you, not your job to avoid them,” says Peter Norton, a historian at the University of Virginia and author of Fighting Traffic: The Dawn of the Motor Age in the American City. “But under the new model, streets became a place for cars — and as a pedestrian, it’s your fault if you get hit.” One of the keys to this shift was the creation of the crime of jaywalking. Here’s a history of how that happened. via The forgotten history of how automakers invented the crime…

European Towns Remove Traffic Signs to Make Streets Safer | Europe | DW.DE | 27.08.2006

Towns in Germany and the Netherlands are beginning to remove road signs in the hope of decongesting roads and making travel a less confusing experience. Do they make roads safer or more dangerous? Imagine what it would be like traveling around towns without street signs. Would people move around carefully, looking out for each other or would chaos break out? In the Netherlands, transport planner Hans Monderman has pioneered a new method which involves removing traffic signs, lights and in some cases, road markings. This concept has successfully been tested in the small Dutch town of Drachten, which has had…

Living in communion

Church leaders around the country should be doing everything they can to reconnect the social bonds of our communities. We reconnect the social bonds most easily and effectively when we reconnect the physical bonds. We should be obsessed with getting people out of their cars and back into each other’s lives. If you are not already a member of Strong Towns, you really need to be. We’re pushing the boundaries on reforming our cities, our finances, our transportation system, leading a national conversation on how to build a strong America. We are taking these powerful ideas and turning them into action…

Free public transit in Tallinn is a hit with riders but yields unexpected results | Citiscope

TALLINN, Estonia — Last January, Tallinn, the capital city of Estonia, did something that no other city its size had done before: It made all public transit in the city free for residents. City officials made some bold predictions about what would result. There would be a flood of new passengers on Tallinn’s buses and trams — as many as 20 percent more riders. Carbon emissions would decline substantially as drivers left their cars at home and rode transit instead. And low-income residents would gain new access to jobs that they previously couldn’t get to. As Mayor Edgar Savisaar likes to…

FHWA Endorses Engineering Guide for Walkable Urban Streets | Streetsblog Capitol Hill

the Federal Highway Administration gave its stamp of approval to two new engineering guides: the National Association of City Transportation Officials’ bikeway design guide, which features street treatments like protected bike lanes, and Designing Walkable Urban Thoroughfares: A Context Sensitive Approach, designed to help cities build streets that are walkable and safe for all users. The urban thoroughfares guide, produced by the Institute of Transportation Engineers and the Congress for the New Urbanism, is based on the concept of “context sensitive solutions,” which seeks to balance the movement of vehicles with other objectives, like promoting active transportation and fostering retail businesses. Both guides…

London’s Lived-In Look | PlaceMakers

[excerpts] London makes it clear that it’s logistically impossible to achieve a compact city without exceptional, multi-layered transit service. Subway, rail and bus provide a semblance of calm to the constantly busy streets, although last week’s London Times points out that the city could save £1.6 billion per year from its health budget if it invests in cycling facilities at levels of the Dutch, £24 per person annually. The Get Britain Cycling parliamentary inquiry suggests a 3x ROI annually for savings in health services alone as a result of cycling investment. Never has any other civic amenity — once basic…