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Part 1: Mark Baumer Reflection: Impounding Vehicles & Immigrant Rights

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...

Autoluwe Tobey Street

Autoluwe is a fancy-schmancy Dutch word that means "car lite" or "almost car-free". Autoluwe design differs is similar to "shared space" in that it allows cars to mix with other modes, but it differs from "shared space" in that it takes specific design steps to limit not just traffic speed, but also traffic volume. You can substitute other terms like "filtered permeability" or "bike boulevard" to describe Autoluwe design.

Autoluwe has the advantages of a quiet cul-de-sac without the disadvantages: it keeps a completely permeable network of walking and biking connections (or could even be made to do so for transit as well), giving an upper hand to less expensive, more sustainable modes of transportation. Drivers can still use the spaces-- for instance, you can visit your favorite business by car-- but you can't use the routes for rat-running.

I've done a couple posts on what a car-free Tobey Street bridge could look like. One of the ideas of a car-free bridge is that it would act as a kind of filter for traffic. Local cars could pull up to the bridge, but not cross it, so the bridge itself would prevent Tobey from becoming a through-street. But a really strong objection to the car-free bridge is that it's going to go over a highway, which isn't the most welcoming hang-out place even if we do activating things on the bridge. So where else could the filters be put to get the same effect?

I created a map of what that could look like. Check it out.

This is an example of what a "filter' for cars can look like. Local drivers are able to use this street the same as they would use a cul-de-sac in Cranston, but with the added advantage that the network isn't broken for biking and walking. This is a common feature of a lot of bike-friendly cities, and because ti draws many people away from driving for short trips, actually improves the traffic congestion of an area.
Here's another example. This one uses "diagonal diverters" to make this connection permeable to people on bikes but not to cars. Note again that no one who drives to get around has any difficulty accessing this neighborhood street.

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