Measuring the Street

Whaaaaat! people passing by stores at 30mph trapped in a metal death machine don't shop as much as people walking and biking?! Craziness…

This nice study from the New York Department of Transportation highlights the benefits of bicycle and pedestrian in dense urban areas. It's filled with lost of interesting metrics, but two stand out to me:

  1. 67% decrease in pedestrian crashes. 
  2. 172% increase in retail sales.

This "relatively" simple modification has had an amazing affect on 8th and 9th ave in NYC – and this didn't require a huge investment of money compared to some of the proposed developments like the Seaholm Redesign and the Waller Creek Conservatory Competition that are putting millions upon millions of dollars to make "new" stuff to help increase commerce and quality of life downtown. But what about changing what we already have? Why isn't there more innovative planning happening in the areas that are already populated like Congress Ave? 

My proposal: Shut down congress to ALL vehicle traffic except for busses. Put a central median for bus stops, outside that a North/South bike lanes, and out side an extended sidewalk. Something like this could really help bridge the gap between the Capitol (one of the most popular tourist attractions in Texas) and downtown.