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Streetfilms: Fixing the Great Mistake of Planning for Cars

by Elizabeth Press

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"Fixing the Great Mistake" is a new Streetfilms series that examines what went wrong in the early part of the 20th century, when our cities began catering to the automobile, and how those decisions continue to affect our lives today.

In this episode, Transportation Alternatives director Paul Steely White shows how planning for cars drastically altered Park Avenue in New York City. Watch and see what Park Avenue used to look like, how we ceded it to the automobile, and what we need to do to reclaim the street as a space where people take precedence over traffic.


This piece originally appeared on Streetsblog


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Comments

Very interesting video.
But I disagree when Paul Steely White says that the world is watching NY... I think that the US, though still for a few years the 1st economic power, isn't an example anymore in many areas... especially in terms of environment. NY (like many other car invaded cities in the US) should take a peak at the solutions Europe or Japan are developing or have already implemented.
But I sure do share his optimistic hope of seeing NYC going back to pedestrians !!


Posted by: Christophe M. on 7 Mar 10

For a long time now I've been dreaming of this radical vision in which Humanity lets go of their car obsession and moves to a public transit and eco-friendly community. In my little corner of the world, no one is ready to talk about this, let about start a movement. But it gives me great hope to see this train of thought live and breath and survive elsewhere in the world.

There are so many aspects over looked when talking about the automobile situation that are glossed over. For me, one of the biggest is the amount a space given up to cars.

I once calculated the amount of space allocated for parking spots/lots etc in Canada based on the # on registered vehicles in 2008, and it was over whelming. Over 4 billion square ft (and that was under estating) used for cars alone. When we take into account homelessness and poverty, and the loss of community parks and green spaces and all that...

It's a lot to think about.
Let's home more people start to think about this kind of stuff. Thank you.


Posted by: Christine on 8 Mar 10

NY have been looking out into the world and invited for instance the mayor of Copenhagen to learn about bicycle culture.

In Copenhagen, which is my native city, they have made a plan to be CO2 neutral by 2020. One of the major initiatives is the plans for bicycles. Street films made this video during the COP15, to show that Copenhagen is the bicycle capiltal of the world. Or so it is caimed: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZJlweUTqXY&feature=player_embedded


Posted by: Nicholas Blok on 10 Mar 10

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