“Cities After COVID”

For your interest: a mini-symposium on “Cities After COVID” in TPM: The Philosophers’ Magazine. Yours truly has a bite-sized contribution about two-thirds of the way down, “The Pedestrian Death Crisis at the Intersection”: hyper-applied philosophy offered pro bono publicum. Thanks to Ian Olasov for putting the symposium together, and to everyone who’s had to endure the traffic/pedestrian safety rants that led to my essay. But don’t stop at that particular intersection; drive through and check out the whole thing.

4 thoughts on ““Cities After COVID”

  1. I take it your description is meant to describe the same thing as this description?

    The easiest way to understand a Barcelona intersection is to picture an octagon. The city has moved the crosswalks a half block down each side street. If you are following the sidewalk, you walk along the main street, then diagonally down the side street, across the side street, and diagonally back onto the main street.

    (link – https://www.motorbiscuit.com/barcelonas-brilliantly-designed-intersections-make-it-among-the-best-cities-for-bicycles/)

    Another reason to get to Barcelona!

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    • I actually hadn’t intended to go as far as adopting the octagonal design—just setting the crosswalk farther into the block, and away from the intersection, so as to permit cars to complete their turns and then yield to pedestrians. That was the essential idea I got from my trip to Barcelona.

      Unfortunately, none of my photos of the simplest intersections in Barcelona came out well, and I haven’t been able to find a useful picture of one online. Online writing tends to gravitate to the most radical features of Barcelonan urban planning—octagonal blocks, car-free zones, etc. But that wouldn’t fly here, and I’m not convinced it would be a great idea to try. The result might just be boutique intersections in affluent towns and neighborhoods, and status quo everywhere else. My proposal was meant to be more pragmatic than aesthetic—to eliminate as many pedestrian-dangerous intersections as possible, and start to bring the death and injury rates down.

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