June 22, 2006
Cascadia Scorecard Released
The Sightline Institute released their 2006 Cascadia Report Card yesterday. This is the third in their series of annual report cards on the health of our greater region (an area containing watersheds in parts of Northern California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, British Columbia and Alaska).
While there is no transportation grade per se, the report card includes a section on energy (energy use is actually leveling off) and this year had a special chapter on sprawl and health (PDF, 359K). It's clear that more compact neighborhoods also enjoyed better health (and less obesity). This is true in all parts of the region, although British Columbia is the clear leader.
There is also a brief Oregon-specific scorecard (PDF, 64K).
My favorite set of graphics compares where a one-mile walk will take you in two Seattle-area neighborhoods. Death to the cul-de-sac!
June 22, 2006 3:56 PM
That's awesome. I agree, death to the cul-de-suck.
June 22, 2006 6:09 PM
Miles Hochstein Says:
But there might be other design choices that are between the grid and the cul de sac and which realize most of the grid's accessibility value, together with a less rigid straightline appearance....
June 25, 2006 7:07 PM
Bob R. Says:
Regarding cul-de-sacs, anti-new-urbanists frequently complain about "traffic calming" devices, curb extensions, etc., but support development patterns with completely nonsensical street arrangements and cul-de-sacs. Dead-ends and cul-de-sacs are essentially the most draconian and rigid of all "traffic calming" devices, in that any form of traffic cannot get through.
Regarding alternatives to the standard grid pattern with less-rigid sightlines, I've always though that the street arrangement at the Burning Man event would have merit in a start-from-scratch city or large development. It is easy to figure out, you don't need a map once you know the system, but sightlines are gently limited.
(The entire Black Rock City grid is approx 1.8 miles in diameter, if I recall it right.)
- Bob R.
June 25, 2006 7:23 PM
Bob R. Says:
Adding to my comment about Burning Man, above, here is an aerial photograph of the Black Rock City street system, fully populated:
- Bob R.