Seattle has taken a bold step in the direction of putting cyclists and pedestrians first. An extremely positive reflection among all those who shape the so-called "new normal".
Up to 32 kilometers of roads closed to cars permanently. The "Stay Healthy Streets" program aims to close roads to non-essential traffic to encourage people to exercise, run, go to work. Ultimately, move in total safety.
- environmentalists they are really enthusiastic about these decisions, because they certainly contribute to limiting vehicular traffic and therefore to reducing carbon emissions.
Quarantine stress was one of the main reasons that led to the development of new measures to support public health through exercise.
Roads closed to cars, more investments in infrastructure
Not just the permanent closure of the 32 kilometers of the Stay Healthy Streets program, in short. In addition to encouraging walking, jogging, skateboarding, scooters and bicycles, the Seattle mayor's office it also works to build better infrastructure and more protected cycle paths.
The Mayor Jenny Durkan explains: "The fight against Covid-19 is a marathon, not a sprint. As we evaluate how to make sustainable long-term change, we must ensure that Seattle rebuilds itself better than before. Safe and healthy roads are an important tool for the families of children. our neighborhoods. They are for going out, exercising and enjoying the good weather. In the long run, these streets will become valuable assets in our neighborhoods. "
The choice of roads to close to cars
Pedestrianized streets were selected because they have fewer open spaces and lower car ownership rates. Another criterion considered was the positioning in routes open to essential services and take-away meals.
Of course, delivery services will still be allowed on these "closed" roads (albeit with a preference for bicycles and scooters) and garbage trucks, in addition to emergency vehicles.
Details also matter
The solutions that aim to improve health and traffic also take into account health safety, a detail that will always be of great importance after Covid-19.
Take traffic lights, for example: the duration of the breaks will be reduced to avoid crowds, and it will no longer be necessary to press a button to trigger the green, so as to reduce contact with surfaces. $ 100 to $ 200.000 will be used to redesign the signage as well.
Since the start of the measures due to Covid-19, Seattle's vehicular traffic has decreased by 57%. It is hoped that the permanent closure of nearly 32 kilometers of road will lead to fewer vehicles and limit traffic even when the recovery is complete.