Friday, October 20, 2006

Carfree spaces

I think that I would enjoy living in a carfree area a great deal. I find these attributes very attractive:

  • cleaner air
  • less noise
  • closer-knit communities
  • safety, especially for children
  • better exercise for everyone
  • having less stress, and living around people with less stress
  • getting what we need locally (instead of from oil far away)
  • reduced dependence on government, major industry, and infrastructure

I saw this picture at, and found it beautiful:

Center of Groningen, The Netherlands
Part of the large nearly carfree center.

I read through the Wikipedia article List of car-free places with great interest, only to discover that the U.S. has very little to offer. Basically, Mackinac Island and Fire Island are your only real car-free options.

There is some mention of massive pedestrian shopping malls, but that's not what I'm looking for. It's not about shopping!

Why don't more cities have car-free spaces? Why doesn't each major city pick one district and make it car-free. Over time, some people will migrate in, and some will migrate out, depending on their taste. In 10 years, you'll know if you should grow it or shrink it.

For the Seattle, I propose Broadway on Capitol Hill.


Tim said...

Broadway would be a great carfree area, but you'd have trouble routing all that traffic to other arterials. University Ave in the U District would also be a great choice.

Sandy said...

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