systematica

what snow tells us about creating better public spaces

After record amounts of snow this year in Philadelphia, you could be excused for not wanting to see any more of it. But today’s snow actually brought us some pretty cool ideas for public spaces and traffic safety improvements along E. Passyunk Avenue in South Philly. If you haven’t heard of a “sneckdown” yet, it’s a clever combination of “snow” and “neckdown” – another name for a curb expansion – that uses snow formations on the street to reveal the space cars don’t use. Advocates can then use these sneckdown photos to make the case to local transportation officials that traffic calming interventions like curb bumpouts and traffic islands can be installed without any loss to car drivers. One of the areas of Philadelphia with the best opportunities for pedestrian plazas is E. Passyunk Avenue, which crosses the street grid at a diagonal, creating lots of triangular intersections. I thought the snow would provide some good examples to help you visualize what I’m talking about, so I headed over there this afternoon to take some sneckdown photos. And to my delight, the snow revealed some awesome traffic calming ideas I hadn’t considered. At the intersection of 6th and Passyunk and Christian, near the excellent Shot Tower Coffee , there is a triangular plot of land that I always thought would make a great public plaza, but there’s a For Sale sign there now, indicating it will probably become housing. read the full article: http://thisoldcity.com/advocacy/photos-what-snow-tells-us-about-creating-better-public-spaces-e-passyunk-avenue#.UvNLhmJ5MdW