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We should ask our grandparents how to address our traffic problems

The longer I work in urban design and transportation planning, the more I realize how much the past has to teach us about how to reduce congestion and improve our quality of life today. New Urbanism is not really new at all, since it takes urban design principles from a hundred or so years ago and brings them back to life. These principles have lead us back to more walkable communities and successful businesses.

The modern day Streetcar is certainly not a new idea but one that reaches back some 50 years to move people in a cleaner and more efficient fashion. Streetcars are now being constructed or discussed in more than 50 cities nationwide.

Freeways, which are a relatively modern phenomenon (post WWII), are actually being torn down ("Highway Teardowns Benefit Traffic Flow and City Life"), leading to additional green space.

Finally, roundabouts, which date back to 1903, are replacing antiquated signalized intersections, leading to reduced congestion and accidents ("From One-Way Rotary System to Modern Day Roundabout").

Posted in Beyond Parking on Jul 08, 2009

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