American Cities’ Biggest Transportation Innovation is Decidedly Low-Tech

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[By Paul Goddin for Mobility Lab]

Long Island Bike Lane

American cities are adding bus and bike lanes, implementing bikeshare systems, and creating public plazas and miniature parks at a rapid pace.

Urban streets, long the domain of automobiles, are increasingly being reclaimed by and for the people, a change that amounts to the biggest transportation innovation in recent years, according to a new report by TransitCenter.

“A People’s History of Recent Transportation Innovation” details how strong alignment among local civic organizations, city leadership, and transportation agencies has yielded enduring changes in regional transportation systems.

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Are Streets, Like Fences, A Relic of Another Era?

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[Written by Paul Goddin for Mobility Lab]


“Good fences make good neighbors,” Robert Frost wrote in the poem “Mending Wall.”

It is a line that captures the 1914 poem’s themes of boundaries, ownership, and privacy perfectly. But today, 100 years later, fences are becoming more of a quaint notion in an increasingly urbanized world.

According to the United Nations, which has been tracking world urbanization patterns for years, 81 percent of Americans currently live in urban areas. This is a worldwide migration trend as well, with more than half of the world’s population now residing in cities.

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