City streets have been hijacked by fast cars and trucks, as though these vehicles and their speeds were the only reason the roads were created in the first place. It is interesting to note that the road widths we see today are a legacy from a period before motor vehicles, when pedestrians and horses ruled the roads.

Pedestrian and cyclist safety is acknowledged as one of the great challenges in urban design across North America, but there are examples of innovative projects that seek to bring back a human element to the streetscape. This video shows a community art project that attempts to incorporate art into traffic management. Probably the best thing about this project is the fact that the community literally shut down an intersection and had a party in the middle of the street while engaging in a community-building activity.

YouTube – Ocean City NJ Paints a Street!

The project is an example of a human-scale activity reclaiming the streets of the town. With support from the local police, schools and the community arts association, this event is a clear success toward building community ownership of the streetscape.


Published by Mike Thomas

Mike Thomas P.Eng. ENV SP, is the author of and Director of Engineering at the City of Revelstoke in the Interior of British Columbia, Canada.

One reply on “Reclaiming the Roads”

  1. This was a good project and everyone should support this one. Its really true how unsafe the roads when there is a lot of over speeding vehicles that runs through it. You cannot expect the accident when time comes. I hope that this project will continues to make our road safe for us and our kids.

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