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Re: Temporarily Carfree Portland

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  • Karen Sandness
    I may have mentioned this here before, but a few years ago, I was walking around in Tokyo when I came across a side street that was blocked off with a sawhorse
    Message 1 of 3 , Jul 2, 2008
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      I may have mentioned this here before, but a few years ago, I was
      walking around in Tokyo when I came across a side street that was
      blocked off with a sawhorse and a sign saying that the residents had
      declared it a car-free zone. I don't know how long the sign had been
      up or how long it remained up after that (I was on my way to an
      appointment and couldn't stop and chat with the residents), but given
      the width of the street and the number of little shops along it, I can
      see why cars would have been unwelcome.

      In transit,
      Karen Sandness
    • Matt Hohmeister
      When I was in elementary school (in Philadelphia), the principal would, for before- and after-school hours, park his car dead center in an intersection next to
      Message 2 of 3 , Jul 2, 2008
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        When I was in elementary school (in Philadelphia), the principal
        would, for before- and after-school hours, park his car dead center in
        an intersection next to the school to slow down traffic--he basically
        made the intersection into a traffic circle. He most likely did this
        with the blessing of the police, since his car was never towed.

        By the way, I take issue with temporary street closings, "school
        zones", and other such temporary measures. They're a way of saying
        that pedestrians are not welcome, unless it's during designated hours.
        If an intersection can be made into a traffic circle during school
        hours, why not make it into a permanent traffic circle? If the speed
        limit is lowered from 30 to 20 mph during school hours, why not just
        redesign the whole street for 20 mph and make it that way 24/7? If
        downtown streets can be closed for a whole week in December for the
        Winter Festival with no harm (and in fact, benefit) to all affected
        property owners, why not make it permanent? The only restaurant
        downtown with outdoor tables would probably love it.

        I've always thought that one easy way to transition to carfree is to
        simply make temporary street closures and lower speed limits permanent.

        BTW, here in Tallahassee (and I assume we're not alone in this),
        vehicles are used to block streets--and everything else. Sidewalks and
        bike lanes are seen as free-for-all parking, and the police not only
        don't enforce anything, but they do it themselves.

        --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "J.H. Crawford" <mailbox@...>
        wrote:
        >
        >
        > This message came in recently.
        >
        > At 2008-06-30 20:54, you wrote:
        > >Hello,
        > >
        > >I thought you might enjoy the revelation that cars are in fact good
        > >for something — blocking off a street so that citizens can reclaim it!
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