Safe Streets, Livable Streets

Urban planners, designers and architects often encourage the use of aesthetic streetscape treatments such as trees to enhance the livability of urban streets. However, conventional transportation safety practice regards these same roadside objects as fixed-object hazards and strongly discourages their use. This study examines the subject of livable streetscape treatments. The author suggests that there is evidence that these treatments may actually enhance the safety of urban roads. Concerns about their safety effects do not appear to be founded on empirical observations of crash performance but instead on a design philosophy that discounts the relationship between driver behavior and safety. The author suggests that a more basic problem is that overarching objective of mobility and speed. The origin and evolution of this philosophy is traced, and an alternative is proposed that may better account for the dynamic relationships between driver behavior, road design, and transportation safety. This paper is followed by a counterpoint by J. L. Gattis which questions some of the inferences and conclusions drawn in the original paper, especially in the discussion of controlling speed through road design.


  • English

Media Info

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01002866
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, ATRI
  • Created Date: Aug 2 2005 9:26PM