Debunking the Cul-de-sac

I grew up in a cul-de-sac.

Largest

image source: The Atlantic Cities

When I first moved to Seattle this whole “city” thing confused me. I can’t bring my car to college? I have to walk, or worse, take the bus! But then I realized that everything I ever needed (except Target, which I came to realize was a huge money pit) was so close. 

Now that I’m biking everywhere I just can’t imagine ever living in a place where a car is a necessity. This article from theatlanticcities.com reveals that the cul-de-sac design is actually less safe than the traditional grid design. Of course I’m concerned with safety, but I’m more interested in the “personal” benefits of the grid:

What is harder to measure is the value of simply being connected – to where we want to go, but also to each other. Bernstein’s location efficiency data speaks to some of this. He’s even found that foreclosure hotspots tend to be focused in places with the least location efficiency – in spread-out subdivisions, where a family already stretched to the limit can go broke driving 10 miles each way for a gallon of milk.

Yay for being more connected with our communities! 

via Urban Velo.

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