Advocacy Streets Transform Under Shelter in Place
Image: JFK Drive in San Francisco (not currently closed to vehicle traffic) — WalkSF.
Amidst all the tragedy, sacrifice, and anxiety surrounding life during the coronavirus pandemic, there could be some silver linings in the fights to curb climate change, relieve traffic congestion, create safer streets, and get more people out on foot and bike.
The “Shelter in Place” Order has reduced traffic in the Bay Area by 70 percent, highlighting the potential for telecommuting to reduce traffic and greenhouse gas emissions. This unprecedented drop in traffic and demand for on-street parking has created a unique opportunity to reimagine streets as places for people, rather than cars, which is especially important in a time when people need places to walk and bike while keeping distance from one another.
Over the last several weeks, cities around the world have closed streets to cars and reallocated roadway space previously used for cars into space for people on foot and bike. To our knowledge, none of Marin County’s cities or towns have taken proactive steps to reconfigure streets for people since the “Shelter in Place” Order went into effect, though some roads through public parks are now closed to vehicle traffic and open to people on bikes.
MCBC would like to hear your suggestions on places where streets should be closed, restricted, or reconfigured to create more space for people on foot or bike. Take a look at inspiration from around the world below, then use the form at the bottom of the page to share your ideas!
Bogota: Installed 47 miles of new bike lanes to reduce crowding on and provide an alternative to transit.
New York City: Created two “emergency” bike lanes to provide an alternative to transit and closed four streets to cars to create space for people to exercise.
Calgary: Closed six streets to cars in order to create space for people to exercise.
Philadelphia: Closed a major street to cars in order to reduce crowding on a popular multi-use pathway.
Minneapolis: Closed two “scenic” streets to cars in order to create space for people to exercise.
For a complete list, check out the National Association of City Transportation Officials’ spreadsheet and click on the tab that says “Relieve Crowded Areas.”
Share your ideas!
Where in Marin would you like to see streets closed or reconfigured to create more space for people on foot or bike?
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