“The revitalization of urban places depends on safety and security. The design of streets and buildings should reinforce safe environments, but not at the expense of accessibility and openness”
(Congress of the New Urbanism Charter).
“A well-used city street is apt to be safe. A deserted city street is apt to be unsafe” (Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, 1961).
According to Jane Jacobs in The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the presence of passers-by and people looking out of windows deters crime.
“The bedrock attribute of a successful city district is that a person must feel personally safe and secure on the street among all the strangers” (Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, 1961).
“Sprawl development can make a big difference in how fast the police respond to your call for help. People calling from homes on two to six acre lots in suburban developments waited an average of 25 minutes for a squad car to arrive. In the nearby city waits averaged just 4 minutes. Times for homes on quarter-acre lots in newly annexed subdivisions averaged 16 minutes” (A Choice Between Sprawl and Livable Communities, undated).
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“The problem of sidewalk and doorstep insecurity is as serious in cities which have made conscientious efforts at rebuilding as it is in those cities that have lagged” (Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, 1961).
“Streets and squares should be safe, comfortable, and interesting to the pedestrians. Properly configured, they encourage walking and enable neighbors to know each other and protect their communities” (Congress of the New Urbanism Charter).
It is obvious that increased traffic speed leads to an increase in frequency of potential traffic related hazards. “Traffic speeds on residential streets are generally affected by the following:
- Open width or clearance of the street-a street with wide lanes invites faster movements.
- Horizontal and vertical street alignment-straight streets with long sight distances tend to encourage increased speed.
- The number of access points to the street-streets with many obvious potential conflicts points tend to inhibit speeding.
- Number of parked cars or other obstructions on the street-barriers effectively decrease traffic speeds as each barrier may pose a potential conflict.
- Signs and signals at controlled intersections-obvious speed controls within the immediate vicinity of the control device help limit speed”
(“Residential Street”, Second Edition, 1990).
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“As street width widens, accidents per mile increase exponentially” (“Designing Streets: Weighing Community and Mobility”, Groundwork, Summer 1998).
“…the problem of insecurity cannot be solved by spreading people out more thinly, trading the characteristics of cities for the characteristics of suburbs” (Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, 1961).
“Narrower streets-as little as 26 feet wide-and tight, right-angled corners are a lot easier for walkers, and probably safer as well, because they force drivers to slow down. One objection: fire departments worry about getting trucks through. But that hasn’t been a big problem in old nabes in cities like New York and Boston” (“15 Ways to Fix the Suburbs”, Newsweek, May 15, 1995).
“Sidewalks, Their bordering uses, and their users, are active participants in the drama of civilization versus barbarianism in cities” (Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, 1961).
”Orderly rows of mature trees can improve even the most dismal street by softening hard edges and sunblasted bleakness” (James Howard Kunstler, Home From Nowhere, 1996).
”Parallel parking is emphatically permitted along the curbs of all streets, except under the most extraordinary conditions. Parallel parking is desirable for two reasons; parked cars create a physical barrier and psychological buffer that protects pedestrians on the sidewalk from moving vehicles…” (James Howard Kunstler, Home From Nowhere Nowhere, 1996).
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