New Urbanism versus conventional street standards
To get things built, new urbanist designers often must compromise their design ideals — frequently filtering walkable street plans through conventional traffic engineering standards and mindsets. Stapleton in Denver, Colorado, one of the nation's largest traditional neighborhood developments, has continual problems with overwide, dangerous streets as a result of this issue, notes resident and civil engineer at the University of Colorado, Wesley Marshall. He relates how overwide streets prevent kids from walking to school and force residents to take unusual measures like parking an SUV on one side of the street and a trailer on the other to slow traffic on a street with frequent speeding (see photo above). New urbanists need to better understand the pervasive influence of conventional traffic engineering standards and achieve better street networks with narrower streets, Marshall argues in a piece in the July-August issue of Better! Cities & Towns.
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