Last month, I argued that Provo gets narrower streets after snow storms and that those narrow streets work just fine. The point was that we should be building new narrow streets and slimming the ones we already have because, clearly, they work.
But a video I recently discovered from Streetfilms explores how snow storms have other traffic-calming effects as well:
The video focuses on “neckdowns,” or elements added to street corners to slow cars as they turn. The idea is to increase safety for pedestrians and, as the video points out, the cars aren’t really using the space anyway.
The video shows a whole series of accidental neckdowns resulting from snow and tracks cars as they make turns. As the narrator points out, they’re “not stopping anybody from getting where they need to go.”
The takeaway here is that after snow storms we often have working examples of how our own streets should be structured; we don’t need to rely on distant case studies or theoretical models. Instead, we just need to walk outside a few days after a snow storm, look at how much street is being used, and only plan to build that.