The Slow Streets movement, spawned during the lockdown phase of the pandemic, has largely faded as communities remove barriers and erase safe spaces. But the experience of streets centered on community and placemaking seems to have given a boost to the movement for car-free spaces. Bike activists, including CalBike and many local bicycle coalitions, have worked for years to create more space for people biking and walking in California, and combined with a growing awareness of the need for change, those efforts have borne fruit.
Cities across California have removed vehicular traffic to create safe spaces for people to walk and bike. One particularly notable example is JFK Drive in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, because of the deep-pocketed opposition to the project and the people-power that overcame that opposition at the ballot box, but there are many exciting new car-free spaces around the state.
Car-free spaces open across California
Business districts that would have once fought to keep car traffic now celebrate car-free space that attracts shoppers and diners. Over the past year, we’ve seen some exciting new open streets in California cities, including:
Gaslamp Promenade, San Diego. A section of Fifth Avenue in San Diego’s historic Gaslamp district has been converted to pedestrianized plazas for much of the day, while allowing vehicular traffic for deliveries for a window of time in the morning.
State Street Promenade, Santa Barbara. Ten blocks in the heart of Santa Barbara’s retail and dining district are now safe space for people biking and walking, with plenty of room for outdoor dining and markets.
San Francisco Shared Spaces. San Francisco has created a program for regular, permitted, open streets in neighborhoods across the city. The spaces are sponsored by local businesses, merchant associations, or community organizations and include weekend outdoor dining and shopping experiences, space for farmer’s markets, plazas for outdoor socializing, and more.
Griffith Park, Los Angeles. The park that’s home to LA’s Hollywood sign is also a popular spot for recreational rides in a city that isn’t always bike-friendly. After years of conflicts between people on bikes and people in cars, and a deadly collision earlier this year, the city closed a section of roadway to cars, with a promise to study more road closures in the future.
This isn’t a comprehensive list; we probably missed some fabulous car-free spaces around California. Please let us know if we left your local reclaimed street off the list.
San Francisco voters choose car-free JFK Promenade
JFK Drive is a main thoroughfare through San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. Though the park is designed as a place for recreation and respite from city life, motorists often used the park’s roads as a cut-through to get to the ocean or travel between neighborhoods, creating dangerous conditions for people on bikes.
Over the years, San Francisco has slowly expanded car-free space on JFK Drive, first to every Saturday, then to Sundays as well. Each expansion of the beloved space for people to bike, walk, skate, and dance was met with loud protests, and the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition fought hard to make it happen.
Then came 2020, and San Francisco temporarily made a large section of the street car-free 24/7, giving residents safe outdoor space for exercise and recreation. As the pandemic waned (will it ever really end?), advocates came together to campaign for a permanent closure and, in April 2022, the San Francisco City Council voted to make the JFK Promenade permanent.
That seemed like the end of the story, until a wealthy board member of the de Young Museum, which sits off of, and can be accessed by, JFK Drive, put Measure I on the ballot to restore car traffic on weekdays. Proposition I also included allowing cars on the Great Highway (a coastal road that had become the Great Walkway during the pandemic, with plans to study weekend open streets) as a bonus, though almost all the backing for the measure came from people and organizations with interests in Golden Gate Park.
Car-free advocates countered with Measure J, to keep the roadway open to people. “Throughout the campaign, hundreds of volunteers spent thousands of hours talking to voters across San Francisco about the value of safe, protected open space, and more than a dozen local advocacy organizations came together to support the car-free JFK Promenade,” Robin Pam from Kid Safe SF told CalBike. “The force of passionate volunteers and partner organizations powered the campaign from start to finish, and ultimately made the difference on election day.”
On November 8, that hard work paid off with a resounding victory for open space. Prop I lost by 25 points, with almost 63% of San Franciscans voting no, and Prop J passed by 22 points, with 61% in favor.
“By passing Prop J and rejecting Prop I, San Francisco voters showed their strong preference for public spaces that prioritize safe access and recreation for kids, seniors, people with disabilities, and all San Franciscans,” Pam said. “We’re proud of this community and the growing movement for safe open space, safe streets, and active transportation in San Francisco and beyond.”
The future of open streets?
There’s no doubt that the pandemic accelerated the movement to reclaim civic space for people, increasing safety, giving people places to connect, and improving the quality of life for residents. And the imperative to find new ways to get around that don’t contribute to climate change adds urgency to the changes we need to see in our communities.
It’s easy to fall into the mindset that businesses and residents need easy car access to have vibrant neighborhoods, but it’s also easy to change that mindset. For example, when San Francisco held its first Sunday Streets open streets event along the Embarcadero, the ride stopped short of Fisherman’s Wharf, a popular tourist destination. The merchants in the neighborhood were adamant that they didn’t want the street closure by their shops.
However, after they saw how many people came out for Sunday Streets, Fisherman’s Wharf merchants jumped at the chance to be included in the event the following year. The streets were so packed with people during that first Sunday Streets at the wharf that there was barely room to move.
By the same token, San Francisco’s Valencia Street was hopping on a recent Saturday night, with outdoor dining, live music, artist booths, and storefronts bustling with restaurants, bars, taquerias, and shops. A child rode her scooter down the middle of the street in the dark, and one local resident said she felt like she’d stepped onto a street in Europe.
The more people and merchants get to experience open streets, the more we appreciate the power of car-free space to build community and drive economic vitality. CalBike hopes to see more of these spaces created around our state in the months and years ahead.
https://www.calbike.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/Yes-on-J-Kid-Safe-SF.jpeg14351440Laura McCamyhttps://www.calbike.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/calbike-logo.pngLaura McCamy2022-11-14 20:00:022022-11-15 12:48:13San Francisco Voters Lead Surge in Car-Free California Streets
AB 43 Will Allow Reduced Speed Limits for Slower Streets
Sacramento – Citing the success of “Slow Streets” across California during the COVID lockdown, the California Bicycle Coalition (CalBike) is proud to support AB 43, a bill that could help make slow streets a permanent part of California communities. Lower speeds are crucial for neighborhood Slow Streets, a concept so successful during California’s COVID lockdown that now the Los Angeles City Council would like to make it permanent.
“The bill would allow communities to set lower speed limits to keep streets safe without being hamstrung by out-of-date laws,” said Dave Snyder, executive director of CalBike. “Permanent slow streets become possible if the state legislature changes an old rule that basically lets speeding drivers set the speed limits.”
AB 43 Reforms the “85% Rule”
This Caltrans rule requires cities to set the speed limit at the speed of the car going faster than 85 out of 100 car drivers. This method sets speed limits according to the (often irresponsible) behavior of drivers, not the needs of the community. The current rule actually rewards drivers for speeding.
AB 43 has passed the California Assembly and is now headed to the Senate Transportation committee.
https://www.calbike.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/slow_streets_with_kids_on_lake_street.jpg8001000Kevin Claxtonhttps://www.calbike.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/calbike-logo.pngKevin Claxton2021-06-15 15:29:422021-06-15 15:29:44AB 43 Will Allow Reduced Speed Limits for Slower Streets
Our process for building transportation infrastructure is slow and expensive, even for bike projects. A simple protected bike lane will commonly require five years from approval to construction. Quick-build street design projects are an exception. They get bikeable and walkable infrastructure projects built fast and affordably. Quick-build is more vital than ever since the COVID-19 pandemic. California cities and towns need to reallocate street space quickly to allow businesses to reopen safely, protect workers, and meet the rising demand for safe biking and walking.
CalBike has made quick-build street design a major priority in 2020. To kick off this campaign, we are working on a toolkit that cities can use to guide them through the quick-build process.
Here’s what you need to know about quick-build street design, plus what CalBike is doing to bring quick-build street design to more California streets.
What is quick-build?
The normal timeline for projects that add Complete Streets elements or otherwise change streets to make them safer for bike riders and pedestrians can stretch for years and years. From conception, to inclusion in a community plan, project planning, community engagement, grant application, grant award, additional engagement and project amendment, grant expenditure (often many years after the award), and finally project construction, a project can easily take more than ten years.
Some projects, such as a new bike bridge, have big price tags and require longer timelines. But smaller projects, such as adding a bulb-out to reduce the width of a pedestrian crossing or adding a protected bike lane, don’t have to be costly or time-consuming.
The first part of quick-build street design is to use low-cost measures. Staffers or contractors can create pedestrian bulb-outs or a new bike lane with paint and bollards. Simple signs or heavy planters serve as traffic diverters. Most quick-build projects can be constructed in mere days or weeks. They can go from conception to reality within months. The measures are also temporary, designed to be removed or changed. Quick-build street design is literally not set in stone (or concrete), so elements can be changed in response to on-the-ground feedback.
That feedback to the actual temporary design becomes the public input process for the eventual project, if the public supports making it permanent. It is usually much better than traditional planning processes, where stakeholders are asked to imagine how it will feel to use a new street alignment based on renderings and PowerPoint presentations. It’s not surprising, under those circumstances, that many community members are resistant to implementing Complete Streets designs that will change how they navigate their environment.
Quick-build projects extend the public comment period beyond implementation. Unlike asphalt and concrete infrastructure, quick-build street designs can be easily adjusted by adding a planter box, moving bollards, or restriping a lane.
While planners design and implement quick-build projects using “temporary” materials, many end up becoming permanent. In some cases, planners add upgrades that started as quick-build to future repaving projects. It turns out, however, that the hardscape infrastructure that has been the standard for traffic engineers for decades is not always necessary. Quick-build improvements like colored paint, soft-hit bollards, or planter boxes can safely delineate projects for years.
Examples of quick-build street design
Bicycle advocates have long used the refrain, “It’s only paint” to promote quick-build projects. Paint is cheap to install and easy to undo. The secret is that, if communities get to live with new quick-build projects, they like them.
Perhaps the most famous examples of successful quick-build projects in the US are New York City’s move to pedestrianize portions of its busiest squares. These projects, which divert traffic on some of the busiest streets in the most populous city in the US, rely mainly on paint and planter boxes to create boundaries where bikes can ride through on separated paths and pedestrians can escape crowded sidewalks. These plazas include outdoor seating that provides a welcome respite for weary tourists and locals in search of fresh air. They were an instant hit.
Quick-build has arrived in California. When a pedestrian was killed by a car driver in Oakland in 2017, the city was able to quickly improve the street design with bollards and paint. After adding bike lanes and brightly-colored pedestrian refuges, OakDOT reported a small decrease in speeding and a more than 80% increase in car drivers yielding to pedestrians.
The Southern California Association of Governments used tactical urbanism (another term for quick-build) in conjunction with its Go Human safe streets campaign. The project installed temporary bike lanes, bulb-outs and other active transportation features in cities around the region. This project used quick-build as a way to get better community feedback on potential safety improvements. The tactical urbanism approach also built engagement and support. The project made street design fun by hosting Open Streets and other events.
Amid the current pandemic, the need to respond quickly to changing circumstances is greater than ever. Many California cities have created Slow Streets to provide safe space for physically distanced outdoor recreation. Often, the only infrastructure needed is signs and portable barricades.
As California moves out of its current stay at home phase of COVID-19 response, communities will need to move quickly to adapt to the new realities of living with an ongoing pandemic. We can’t wait three to five years to plan and fund new bikeways and wider sidewalks. In addition, city and county budgets have been decimated by the crisis. Planners will need to do more with less. Quick-build is the perfect tool to help local governments deal with the changes brought by the coronavirus.
Pros and cons of building it fast
Facebook’s motto of “Move fast and break things” shouldn’t be applied to urban planning. Quick-build comes in for some justified criticism. The speedy planning and implementation process has both benefits and challenges when it comes to community engagement. Here are two of the biggest issues around community engagement.
Pro: An end-run around knee-jerk NIMBYism
If you’ve ever been to a public meeting about a streetscape project, you have heard the NIMBYs speak. They fear that the bike lane you’re advocating for is designed to drive them out of their cars. They worry that it will take them longer to drive to the store. Or they may be anxious that their neighborhood will be overrun by “those people.”
It makes sense that people fear change, particularly people who are invested in the car-centric status quo. Quick-build does an end-run around this fear. It lets planners put “temporary” improvements in place on a trial basis. With designs in place, planners and users get to see what works on the ground, rather than in theory. Residents often find that traffic nightmares don’t materialize and the safety benefits are nicer than they expected. The hard-core NIMBYs may be difficult to win over. However, the support of community members who like the change once it’s in place can help overcome objections and keep quick-build improvements in place.
Con: Limited time for community engagement
There is a downside to the limited public engagement that is a feature of quick-build projects. The short timeline rarely permits the kind of outreach needed for a truly inclusive planning process. However, planners can and should foster an inclusive evaluation process. Community engagement after installation should include people from marginalized and disadvantaged communities. The process has to address the transportation needs of people who are often shut out of planning processes.
Inclusive design takes work. The quick-build process doesn’t absolve planners from the obligation to reach out to communities whose voices are less often heard in the planning process. However, quick-build projects often respond to majority desires for safer walking and biking space. The process is less likely to allow those needs to be shouted down by a few loud voices.
CalBike’s own quick-build project
Here at CalBike, we have a quick-build project of our own. We are working with Alta Planning + Design to create a quick-build toolkit. The toolkit will give municipal planners the resources they need to use quick-build street design for their urgent projects. It will give community advocates the tools they need to win commitments from local officials to make our streets safer, quickly. It will give elected officials the encouragement and rationale for not waiting for the next round of grants. Instead, they can meet their public’s demand for safer streets right away.
Our Quick-Build Toolkit project is itself on a fast track. We expect to have it ready for distribution sometime this summer.
Finding more funding for quick-build street design
In addition to our toolkit encouraging quick-build projects, CalBike is working to increase the state commitment to this low-cost and accessible way of making our streets safer. We are working with regional agencies to help them find funding for local governments to implement quick-build projects.
We support the California Transportation Commission’s decision to set aside $7 million from the next round of ATP projects for urgent quick-build projects. The Commission delayed the next ATP round due to COVID-19 impacts, but it promises an expedited review for any project applying for the $7 million in quick-build project funding. Applications for these projects are due soon. We are also advocating for quick-build infrastructure money in federal stimulus packages.
At CalBike, we want everyone who is able to get to choose to bike to work. We want safe space for children to explore their neighborhoods on foot, scooter, bike, or skateboard. Our commitment to finding practical, workable ways to build the safe and equitable streets that California needs is stronger than ever. We believe that quick-build is one of the best tools for achieving this goal. That’s why we’re building the toolkit. It is why we plan to put the toolkit in the hands of every public works and planning department staffer in California. At the same time, we will be working with state agencies to remove any barriers to quick-build projects that might keep cities from adopting this important tool.
https://www.calbike.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/People-Using-Streets-13.jpg10801920Kevin Claxtonhttps://www.calbike.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/calbike-logo.pngKevin Claxton2020-05-28 17:18:462020-06-01 14:22:17Quick-Build Street Design: What It Is and Why We Need It
The COVID-19 pandemic has upended daily life across California. In an effort to enforce physical distancing, many local and state parks have been closed. Yet, people need to get fresh air and they need to exercise. During the stay at home order, many more people than usual are walking, running, or biking. Advocates have been pushing local governments to create Slow Streets – streets that prioritize human movement and provide the space people need to exercise and still stay safe.
Adversity is a great teacher. It shows us what we need more clearly than words can explain.
Like the Open Streets movement, these hyper-local Slow Streets give residents a chance to experience their neighborhoods in a new way. Without cars, streets are wide expanses available for rolling and playing. Kids can learn to bike without worrying about traffic.
Cities around the world and across the US have reallocated street space for use by people-powered movement during the shutdown. California cities, however, have been slow to join the movement. Oakland was the first California city to create Slow Streets for recreation, starting on April 14. As of this writing, Oakland has been joined by neighboring Emeryville and San Francisco. Advocates in Los Angeles, San Diego, Berkeley, Alameda, and other cities are pushing their local governments to follow suit.
If you want to bring open streets to your community during California’s stay at home order (or anytime), here are some tips on how to make that happen.
A Guide to Bringing Slow Streets to Your Community
To compile this guide, we spoke with some of the activists who helped pioneer Oakland’s Slow Streets. Advocates from Bike East Bay, Walk Oakland Bike Oakland (WOBO), Transport Oakland, and TransForm worked with the city to help launch an ambitious project to create 74 miles of temporary open streets, called Oakland Slow Streets.
While every community has different concerns and considerations, the takeaways from Oakland’s launch are a good place to start. The city established an important principle up front, by committing not to use the Slow Streets program as an excuse to hand out traffic tickets. In addition, Oakland’s diverse neighborhoods and residents provide lessons that will be applicable in many California communities.
It helps to have a strong advocacy community
When the shelter in place took effect in the Bay Area, advocates got together to discuss the changes needed to keep people safe on the streets. They presented a list to OakDOT. The list included turning off beg buttons, widening sidewalks with cones, changing traffic lights to flashing lights, and messaging about safe driving.
Oakland’s DOT was reluctant to implement most of the items on this list (the advocates are still working on this). But the department surprised them with a different, bold option: a plan to open 74 miles for human-powered recreation. While the city advanced this plan, participation and support from advocates was essential and they continue to work with the city on implementation and iteration of the program.
Build relationships with city staffers and elected officials
The long-term relationships between advocates and city staffers created a foundation of trust. That made it easier for Oakland to launch its ambitious program, because it knew it could lean on walking and biking nonprofits to supplement city resources. And the solid relationships meant that it was easy for each party to reach out to the other.
Build on existing bike networks and campaigns
Oakland chose the 74 miles of current and planned neighborhood bikeways to designate as Slow Streets. While some streets have been taken off the list and others added, the fact that these streets were already in the bike plan gave the city a starting point for the Slow Streets program. Campbell said that the fact that the streets were already in an approved bike plan helped get the city council members on board with Slow Streets.
In addition, speeding was an issue in Oakland neighborhoods long before the stay at home order. “This is such a quick implementation, but WOBO had been pushing the Slow Oakland campaign for many months in advance,” said Chris Hwang, the president of WOBO’s Board of Directors. WOBO was already working on a Slow Oakland campaign to raise awareness of the impact of speed on survivability, street design to lower speeds, especially around schools, and getting people to take a pledge to drive more slowly.
That campaign provided a ready-made foundation for Oakland’s Slow Streets. “It’s not a coincidence that the new signage that’s going up looks like our Slow Oakland materials,” Hwang said.
Keep up the pressure
Oakland is an unusual case because city staffers came up with their own bold plan and had the willingness to roll it out quickly. “Our wish list did not include 74 miles of Slow Streets,” said Bike East Bay Advocacy Director Dave Campbell.
In this case, the city exceeded the advocates’ expectations. But, without a strong advocacy community to lobby for the needs of bicyclists and pedestrians, the building blocks for the city’s plan might not have been in place.
And, in many other cities around California, it’s pressure from bicycle and pedestrian advocacy organizations and others that will convince staffers and elected leaders to create Slow Streets. It doesn’t hurt that Oakland did it first to provide an example. But activists applying pressure is a key element. Don’t give up.
Do as much outreach as possible and engage local residents
Outreach is hard when you are implementing a quick solution during a crisis, but it’s still essential. “To build a really strong community, you’ve got to have people feel welcomed and that they can be engaged and things don’t have to be dumbed down for them. People are very smart about what needs to be done for their community,” Hwang said. “We tend to be a little bit blind to what people hold closely as priorities for themselves and their families. We could do way better on that.”
However, as Campbell noted, “You can’t knock on people’s doors” because of physical distancing rules. In Oakland, supporters turned to social media as one way to spread the word. “You need engagement because someone is likely to complain,” he noted. You need a local resident to say, ‘This is more important than your concern.’”
In Oakland’s case, much of the outreach has been done during the project. Oakland started with just four streets and has added a few more each week, making adjustments based on community feedback. San Francisco seems to be following a similar model with its COVID open streets program.
Choose your branding carefully
Oakland set a good example with its Slow Streets program. CalBike has been hearing from our statewide network that Slow Streets is a better way to brand these temporary open streets than names that include Open Streets or Safe Streets. A name like Slow Streets helps politicians understand that the streets aren’t closed to cars completely, only to faster through traffic. This helps allay concerns that these streets for COVID distancing will be similar to Open Streets events, which can draw large crowds.
“I think Slow Streets work better for Oakland,” Hwang said. “It differentiates from Open Streets events, and is a bit more descriptive for neighbors and drivers alike.”
Even better, Slow Streets is a concept that can extend to a permanent network of greenways for safe and low-stress biking. Oakland’s Slow Streets, after all, were built on the foundation of WOBO’s pre-coronavirus campaign to slow traffic and create safer streets. If you call your plan Slow Streets (or something in that vein), you are well-positioned to lobby to make all or part of the program permanent after the pandemic passes.
Create a mechanism for evaluation and feedback
It’s important to give people an easily-accessible way to provide feedback (other than knocking over barricades). In Oakland, that has taken the form of a survey and calls and reports to 311.
It’s important to see how people are using the open streets and whether they relieve pressure on crowded parks. This is something that advocates can help with. “In Oakland, we’re ready to do almost all of the evaluation,” Campbell said.
Be willing to iterate and save some resources for adjustments
Ben Kaufman of Transport Oakland, said, “In some neighborhoods there’s a huge response. In others, there’s not much change in the streets. Be able to iterate if you need it.”
Iterations require budget. Make sure the city reserves some budget to implement changes.
Leverage existing networks to get the word out
“You don’t have to build up neighborhood networks from the ground up,” Hwang said. They are already there and you should use them to get the word out so local residents feel included in the process. This can include neighborhood associations, churches, health clinics, and school districts. The Oakland Unified School District does mass communication to thousands of families and distributes food at several locations. Hwang suggests getting “trusted messengers” to spread the word as much as possible.
Keep it simple to minimize staff time needed
One objection that cities have raised to COVID open streets is that they don’t have the budget to implement it properly. However, these projects can be simple and cheap. In Oakland’s case, the city kept things low-key, with barricades and signage to mark the Slow Streets. Neighboring Emeryville brought in water-filled barriers to separate people from cars.
The city will need some engineering time to draw up plans for traffic diversion and crews to place barricades and signs. Bike coalitions can help by asking volunteers to put up signage and serve as (safely distanced) ambassadors. Getting local residents to act as block monitors also helps. “They can be the best messengers of what this is about,” Hwang said.
Oakland may not be able to get to all 74 miles of streets in its plan. “I think it reflects the very real resource constraints the DOT is under,” Kaufman said. He noted that, if the city’s DOT were fully staffed, it could have implemented the plan more quickly.
Still, if Oakland can find a way to do COVID open streets while short-staffed, other cities have no excuse.
Recognize that different neighborhoods may need different solutions
Hwang noted that neighborhoods where there were Oaklavias (Oakland’s Open Streets) tended to embrace the Slow Streets. “Having a real life experience with what things could be like made them more receptive,” she said. “I worry that it’s an uneven experience. You shouldn’t expect that people are going to take this up right away.”
Allow neighborhoods to give their open street its own flavor. Rather than a one-size-fits-all model, create a big framework that can encompass different manifestations.
Support DIY street closures and help make them official
Some people in Oakland couldn’t wait for Slow Streets to come to them, so they made their own. In Oakland’s Brookdale neighborhood, residents closed the street completely using art and found objects and providing their own block monitors. The DIY element adds creativity and fun to open streets.
“That’s a good example of neighbors DIY upgrading a Slow Street and making it better,” Campbell said. “A successful program has a significant DIY component to it.”
Keep Slow Streets local
Slow Streets are different from Open Streets events. You don’t want people to come from all over the city to enjoy the open streets because that can create crowding, which is exactly what COVID open streets are designed to remedy.
You want residents to know it’s coming and to know what it is when it shows up. But you don’t want to tell people who live far away too much because then they’re going to go to it. That’s the challenge,” Campbell said. To keep the streets open for local residents, he said, “Do more than one street. Do a lot.” That’s the best way to create enough space for safe local recreation.
Good signage is a vital communication tool – and it’s harder than you think
Oakland’s Slow Streets allow access for local car traffic, deliveries, and emergency vehicles. Their signage said, “Road Closed to Thru Traffic.” Many people misinterpreted or misunderstood this wording.
“A lot of people did not understand what ‘no thru traffic’ means,” Hwang said. In addition, it was tough to translate that wording into other languages. For example, the concept of “thru traffic” doesn’t directly translate into Chinese. What we think of as simple road signage is not so simple,” she said. “Even in English, people didn’t understand.”
Kaufman thought more nuanced signage would have helped in the initial rollout. “It took us a couple of weeks for the city to have signs people could print out,” he said. He felt that signage with the Slow Streets branding made it easier to communicate to local residents.
Don’t use the police to enforce the open streets
One of the big concerns in Oakland is that Slow Streets might bring oppressive enforcement into communities that are already over-policed. It’s a program failure if open streets lead to racial profiling or oppression of disadvantaged communities. “You just don’t want the police involved,” Campbell said. “You want them doing things that are more important for police officers to do.”
“There should be no need for the police,” he added. “If the design of your system requires some kind of enforcement or security personnel monitoring, you didn’t design it right. Go back and redesign it.”
Toole Design has additional insights about not using police to enforce social distancing and open streets.
More resources for creating #COVID19Streets
There are some great resources for planners and advocates who want to create Slow Streets.
If you need more inspiration, urban planner Mike Lydon has been tracking #COVID19Streets from around the world in a google spreadsheet, to give you a basis for comparison. Transportation researcher Dr. Tabitha Coombs has compiled a comprehensive database of urban responses to the need for more open space around the world.
Oakland’s experience covers a lot of bases, but other communities may have additional issues. Did we miss something that’s important in your neighborhood? Is there a resource we didn’t include? Let us know. We will update this guide with additional best practices.
https://www.calbike.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/IMG_2844-2-scaled.jpeg10382560Laura McCamyhttps://www.calbike.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/calbike-logo.pngLaura McCamy2020-04-28 17:48:312020-05-05 13:37:28How to Create Slow Streets During the Pandemic