- a collection of notes and reflections on urban living from the perspective of a family of five in Tokyo. My epiphany was many years ago, but being hit by a motorbike and seeing my life flash before my eyes caused a sudden change that slowly made me reflect on whether American style auto-centric urban transportation of the Roosevelt era really is a capital G "Good Idea" for civilized modern cities in the 21st Century. This blog explores the good and the bad in urban planning and design, here and elsewhere. The goal is simple - not "death to all cars," just more walkable communities, quiet tree-lined streets, good public transport, traffic calming, Velib style bicycle sharing and a bit of common sense. The bolg is mostly theraputic, so I don't go wanting to throttle every dangerous driver I come across, but partly also out of a real desire to see positive change. This blog explores how it can be done, the people who do it, and how, in many small ways, this very old idea may at last have found its zeitgeist. Comments and suggestions welcome.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Pedestrians as endangered species


Tania said...

It is awful when you go to some American city as a tourist and you decide to take a walk to know the place. Everybody sees in your stroll a suspicious activity.

Ryan Prociuk said...

Yet people don't believe you when trying to explain there is a correlation between high rate of obesity and lack of sidewalks in certain parts of this country.

StompinRhino said...

Funny though - many people in Japan and other old world countries argue that many streets are better WITHOUT sidewalks. In the context - narrow roads with many pedestrians, I tend to agree. The reason is that cars are forced to slow down and be careful and share the road, and that pedestrians and everyone else are not forced onto a narrow strip in the side that is in fact more dangerous because of lack of visibility. Of course, in the New World countries with wide roads and fast cars there isn't that critical mass of pedestrians to "keep the bastards honest" so not having sidewalks can be deadly. First step might be building sidewalks, then slowing traffic, then dealing with sprawl - much bigger problems than the old world, unfortunately.