Streets for the people is an article about San Antonio’s downtown streets issues – at least about a few of our many street issues. Automobile-oriented street spaces are what we have inherited, and while they provide connectivity for people who wear cars everyday, they choke the city’s potential to transform into a walkable, more sustainable city.
Below is an excerpt. Please link to read the entire article.
….we really need a citywide conversation and rethinking of how our major streets work, and for whom. Fortunately, we have some guides for ways to think better and smarter about streets.
Former San Francisco planning chief Allan Jacobs, in his book Great Streets, provides a host of models and guidelines from around the world. Jacobs describes the best streets as “comfortable to walk along with leisure and safety,”—streets that are equally usable by both drivers and pedestrians. He also notes the importance of streets as social spaces, where people can socialize and interact. The basic elements of “great”—or even just better—streets are now widely recognized and developed, employed in such ways as San Francisco’s 2010 Better Streets Plan. They include sidewalks sufficiently wide to accommodate both walking and gathering, with benches and shaded areas as well as sidewalk cafes and kiosks. Improved street ecology is also important, including an abundance of street trees and greenery, effective management of storm water and thoughtful placement of utilities (that means not building sidewalks with poles right in the middle)….
By Heywood Sanders
Published: December 4, 2013.