Wide streets discourage walking

Earlier this week, the Atlantic Cities posted this story, about the health issues raised by a sedentary lifestyle. But buried toward the end of the story was this quote:

“The greatest barrier to walking more is the perception of too much traffic, not enough street lighting, or wide road crossings,” reports the FHWA.

Let me reiterate: wide road crossings discourage walking.

Unfortunately, that’s pretty much all we have in Utah, as I’ve pointed out over the last couple of days.

This isn’t easy to change, but I think cities along the Wasatch Front have to come to terms with the fact that they have a unique challenge not faced by other cities. In the end, a city like Salt Lake can’t just add great transit infrastructure like light rail and bike share to become as pedestrian-friendly as other places. Instead, it must fix the wide street issue.



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