6. Reduce the Impact of the Car

Reducing the impact of the car does not mean giving it up. It means de-emphasizing it and maintaining a balance between auto and other transportation options such as walking, biking, or taking transit.

This graphic below shows how site design can reduce the need to get into our cars for every local trip. In the interconnected streets subdivision, the roadways are arranged and the mall is positioned so that residents can walk to it. The school is located on the edge of both communities, but children in the conventional development must go to the main street to reach it. Children in the interconnected streets community can easily and safely walk to school.

Town plan designed to reduce car usage

Designing Transportation Facilities for Healthy Neighborhoods

In addition to reducing automobile dependency, transportation facilities should be designed as Complete Streets that are attractive, safe, accessible, multimodal, and vibrant centers of activity. These photographs show how street design and building styles can create an environment that encourages non-motorized uses and discourages speeding. Streetscaping treatments like street trees, pedestrian-oriented lighting, street furniture, on-street parking, and other amenities, can promote a safer and more pedestrian-, bicycle-, and transit-friendly environment.

Unhealthy Streetscape

An example of an unhealthy streetscape

Ed McMahon, Better Models for Development in Delaware, page 99.

  • Excessive paved area
  • Speeding encouraged
  • Walking discouraged
  • Garages in front
  • No trees
  • No on-street parking

Healthy Streetscape
Example of healthy streetscape with wide side walks for pleasant walking environment, trees, and on-street parking.

  • Narrow street
  • Speeding discouraged
  • On-street parking
  • Trees
  • Pleasant walking environment

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