IP-1-2010 (February 2010)
Author: Ben DeGrow
A recent article in the New York Times describes a transportation planner in the Netherlands who advocates making streets city safer by making them more dangerous. He removes all traffic signals, stop signs, lane striping, and even the division between street and sidewalk. In his view, this forces drivers to drive more safely because they can no longer rely on signs and signals to tell them what to do.
The Independence Institute’s Center for the American Dream works to give people freedom of choice in land use and transportation while protecting urban livability and environmental quality. The “dream” of the Center for the American Dream is affordable homeownership, mobility, a clean and livable environment, and personal freedom for all Americans, not just an elite few.
The Center for the American Dream does not advocate that people drive everywhere or take public transit, live in low-density suburbs or high-density urban centers. All of these are legitimate lifestyles. The Center does oppose coercive planning efforts that attempt to engineer lifestyles through subsidies, regulation, and limits on personal and economic freedom.
Michael Cunneen is a transportation engineer who has previously worked for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and Portland’s Metro. Randal O’Toole is the director of the Center for the American Dream and the author of The Vanishing Automobile and Other Urban Myths: How Smart Growth Will Harm American Cities.
Cover photo: Logan Street in Denver was once part of a one-way couplet, then was converted to a two-way street. Since the other street in the couplet was also turned into a local street, this has significantly increased traffic on Logan, raising the ire of residents on the street. Back cover: Street transitioning from one-way to two-way. Photos by Joe Weaver.