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This is part of a multi-part reflection I've been doing following the death of my friend, Mark Baumer . There's nothing graphic i...

Everyone Needs a Sneet

The term "sneckdown" was coined by Clarence Eckerson, Jr. of Streetfilms to describe a neckdown (also called a bump-out) made of snow. There's a great video summarizing it here, and unfortunately I can't excerpt from it because Google is a pain in the royal rumpus and will only let videos be posted to blogger that are up on its subsidiary, Youtube.

Here's a sneckdown from 48th and Baltimore Ave., where I used to cross the street with Warren Warner in Philly.



The sneckdown inspired permanent changes to the intersection:



A fun cousin of the sneckdown is the sneet. You're on a sneet when the street is shut down by snow, and still functions. All sneets are nice, but my favorite sneets are the ones that function even better than the streets they replace. Thayer Street is one such sneet.

This dog was so happy. Dogs need sneets and so do you.
It won't be the first or the last time that I say that Thayer Street is the perfect location for a permanently "opened" street--that is, closed to cars but open to people on foot. Thayer is a place constantly abuzz with pedestrians. It serves a population that largely does not drive (at least not regularly). It is in a location well-served by transit, but where there will never be enough parking for motorists.

Even with blustery winds and wet snow, Thayer Street has been full of people all day. I had some delicious pizza at Antonio's Pizza, where I've never gone before, simply because I was so happy to see a business putting some faith in the pedestrian market. People should go buy some pizza (the Wayland Diner and Hudson Street Deli are some other businesses I've heard have opened during the "travel ban", which is really just a "car travel ban").

This dog knows what a nice thing sneets are. Let's open Thayer Street to pedestrians so that we can have this experience everyday.

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1 comment:

  1. Thayer St. reminds me very much of Church Street, in Burlington VT. That road is not open to automobiles, and is always packed with people. I feel that Thayer St. would work just as well as a sneet.

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