Can we use our streets differently? Yes we can! And according to Neil Takemoto at the always wonderful Cool Town Studios (The Most Innovative Gov Agency in the U.S.?, October 22, 2008), the most innovative government agency in the U.S., New York City's Department of Transportation, shall lead the way.
Says Neil: "If you’re looking for a model of a government agency that’s looking out for creatives, your first stop should be New York City’s Department of Transportation (DOT), as has been stated several times on this site. Behind every progressive organization there’s a leader, and that’s DOT Commissioner, Janette Sadik-Khan, who not surprisingly commutes to work by bike. Kudos to Streetfilms for providing this interview that every transportation decision-maker or advocate should watch."
The 11-minute StreetFilms video is a must for planners and citizens alike who have hope that we can further continue to transform our cities into places with complete streets. Streets that emphasize all users including pedestrians, bikes, and transit - not just cars.
Some highlights include:
- Traffic calming of the future. Drivers take their physic cues from the newly created plazas and slow down because the spaces are designed for people not cars. Drivers do adapt.
- Bus only lanes are provided and painted terra cotta and given soft barriers to demarcate the lane. On-street fare collection reduces waiting time.
- Bike only lanes, pedestrian plazas and the Summer Streets Pedestrian-Only Saturdays are all great examples of how this innovative agency is setting the pace.
And Neil provides these other links:
- Streets to plazas examples.
- Summer Streets pedestrian-only Saturdays.
- The pedestrianized Broadway Boulevard.
- The Streets to Plazas Program, one of the most compelling programs in the U.S., but not mentioned in the video, which goes to show they’re focused on results.
- Click here for the Sustainable Streets plan she mentions at the end which summarizes the DOT’s vision.
Enjoy and lets make sure we start doing more of these things right here in our own region. Kudos to NYC DOT.