Thoroughfares 21 quotes

Quote Context Source
It's not the beer cans I mind, it's the roads. Edward Abbey
A street is a spatial entity and not the residue between buildings. Anonymous
We complain that the streets of the urban peripheries are boring, that they do not offer the same opportunities for encounter, exchange, curiosity, attention, offered by the streets of the historic centers. It is not surprising, as the streets of the historic centers were made for the motion of human beings whereas the streets of the periphery have been made for the motion of automobiles. The Contemporary Town Giancarlo De Carlo
America's public spaces are sized by the biggest fire engine the community can afford to buy. Andrés Duany
The street, which is the public realm of America, is now a barrier to community life. Andrés Duany
The role of the street is social as well as utilitarian. Andrés Duany
There are components of modern life that are necessary but which intrinsically create bad street frontage: They are the parking lot, the drive-through, and the solid walls of certain businesses and institutions that can't have windows. So there is a certain percentage of modern street frontage that will not deliver pedestrian quality. The only questions are: what percentage of your city must you give over to these uses and where do you locate them. What you need is a system of zoning based not on use, but on the quality of street frontage. Then develop your street grid with a rhythm of A streets and B streets. Designate those streets like your Walnut Street as A streets, where every building on these blocks must be high-grade, pedestrian-oriented and reinforce continuity... no parking lots, no curb cuts. Then assign all your anti-pedestrian frontages to your B streets, your service streets. There is absolutely nothing worse for a city than to make every street excellent. If you try to make every street excellent, every street will be mediocre. Andrés Duany
I think developers who design subdivisions without sidewalks should be shot. Joel Garreau
Adding lanes to solve traffic congestion is like loosening your belt to solve obesity. Glen Hemistra
Containing this type of use of 50/50 [50 mph and 50,000 cars per day] streets is far beyond the will and ability of the typical local government. The 50/50 arterial is a gift-wrapped, gold-plated, gift to strip development. Once in place, almost no power on earth will stop its march toward strip commercial. Time spent berating local governments (counties and cities) for not doing better with these monstrosities (and I've done my share of this) is satisfying to the critic, but is unproductive. Once in place, it is too late to do much about the 50/50 arterial. Walter Kulash
A road is a strip of ground over which one walks. A highway differs from a road not only because it is solely intended for vehicles, but also because it is merely a line which connects one point to another. A highway has no meaning in itself. Its meaning derives entirely from the two points which it connects. A road is attribute to space. Every stretch of road has meaning in itself and invites us to stop. A highway is the triumphant devaluation of space, which thanks to it has been reduced to a mere obstacle to human movement and a waste of time. Milan Kundera
...there's a reason that Elm Street and Main Street resonate in our cultural memory. It's not because we're sentimental saps. It's because this pattern of human ecology produced places that worked wonderfully well, and which people deeply loved. James Howard Kunstler
..in general we call these sorts of claims [about why a road cannot be narrowed], by conventional thinkers (usually conventional, old-school, traffic engineers), technical brush-offs. The idea is that, through the misuse of their position, they simply blow off your legitimate design proposal with a technical brush-off. You are supposed to go away and not come back. The benefit to them is that they waste very little time on you and your proposal. However, you research the technical brush-off, find out that it is baloney, come back, and confront them. They then will say, Oh, good job, you're right. However, your idea won't work because ..... and they will give you another technical brush-off. This pattern can continue until either you give up or it is too late. Plus, a lot of damage can be done in the meantime by stirring up the neighbors, the fire chief, and/or the police. You have been given two technical brush-offs so far...The next brush-offs will likely have to do with the classification of the street and that they can't do what you propose. It might also be that they cannot use certain types of funding to reduce car-carrying capacity. By the time you get right down to the real issue, it will likely be that they simply do not want to do the road diet. It violates their paradigm. In these situations, you'll have to decide, at some point, if you will be able to convince the traffic dinosaurs of the overall benefits to society of you proposal. Ian Lockwood
A city's internal transportation system... the layout of its streets and roads, the layout of streetcar systems and subways... determines the character of the city, how its citizens live and work. It has less to do with the direct engines of wealth creation. Build subways and people will live in dense neighborhoods and walk to corner stores; build broad suburban streets and they will live in subdivisions and drive to the Wal-Mart. How Cities Work Alex Marshall
To allow for future street widening,traffic engineers promoted the big front setback and tried to eliminate the sidewalk. Anne Vernez Moudon
This used to be Main Street USA. It's now a code violation all over America. John Norquist
Places don't become strip commercial because all the trees were cut down. They become strip commercial because the place has been scaled for cars. The road is too wide. The parking lot is too big. The building setbacks are too large. Ironically, saving a tree often promotes such an over-allocation of space. Dom Nozzi
With modest roads, Big Box retail is impossible. With large roads, Big Box retail is inevitable. Dom Nozzi
Cars moving through neighborhoods are only borrowing the public space of the dwellings facing the street. Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk
A suburban through street is similar to a New Urbanist through street in the same way that a concrete flood channel is similar to a babbling brook. Patrick Siegman
More roads create more traffic. UK Department of Transport