PHOTOS: Philadelphia, THIS is What Progressive Street Design Looks Like in Seattle
When surveying the world of urban design in public spaces, it's easy to find innovation abroad in Europe, Latin America or Asia. Harder to find are examples here in America. We have fallen behind the rest of the industrialized world regarding maintenance of infrastructure and innovation in safer streets. Change is coming however. More politically progressive cities are leading the way. Such is the case in Seattle.
Just a few years ago, this is how Bell Street looked in Belltown, an area just to the north of Downtown Seattle. Back in angled parking and generous turning lanes meant this street was devoted almost exclusively to cars. Some bike sharrows were painted on the roadway, but nothing in terms of protection was given to cyclists. Overall this street looked as dull as any other. Streetviews shown here are from 2011.
Fast forward to today and a thoughtful street redesign has meant a lot of new public space, water retention gardens, bike racks and a street built for the community rather than just for cars. Materials selections would most likely need to change for Philly and road dimensions will vary, but imagine an intervention like this on Sansom Street or Bainbridge between 2nd and 3rd.