Context - Fall 2016 - 20


STREETS:
They're Not Just
for Cars Any More
BY JEFF RIEGNER, PE, AICP

Cities exist for the exchange of goods and ideas, and streets are the
forum for that exchange. As more and more Americans move to cities-
and strive to create a sense of place in suburbia-that movement has
awakened a re-imagination of the purpose of streets and roles they
play in our daily lives.
Increased automobile ownership in the United States in the aftermath
of World War II brought about a fundamental rethinking of the function of streets. As car and truck traffic increased during the postwar
boom, congestion became a concern. Traffic engineers-members
of a fairly newly minted profession-were tasked with keeping that
traffic flowing smoothly and safely. Over time the twin goals of traffic

capacity and safety became the only two ways that a success of a street
was measured. And because motor vehicles were (and are) the largest
and frequently most numerous components of traffic, throughput of
motor vehicles was what mattered most. In an effort to simplify the
complex behavior of traffic, engineers based their theories on the flow
of sewage through pipes. And those engineers became the sole arbiters
of decisions about the configuration of streets in many communities.

The purpose of streets
These days there is an increasing awareness that, because streets form
such a significant percentage of land in our communities, they should

Lancaster Boulevard before improvements
PHOTO: CITY OF LANCASTER

20

FALL 2016 | context | AIA Philadelphia



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Context - Fall 2016

Editors’ Letter
Community
Up Close
Expression
Design Profiles
Marketplace
Index to Advertisers
Mayor Kenney’s Infrastructure Policy
Green Infrastructure in Philadelphia: The Reading Viaduct Rail Park
Streets: They’re Not Just for Cars Any More
Context - Fall 2016 - ebelly1
Context - Fall 2016 - ebelly2
Context - Fall 2016 - cover1
Context - Fall 2016 - cover2
Context - Fall 2016 - 3
Context - Fall 2016 - 4
Context - Fall 2016 - Editors’ Letter
Context - Fall 2016 - Community
Context - Fall 2016 - 7
Context - Fall 2016 - 8
Context - Fall 2016 - 9
Context - Fall 2016 - Up Close
Context - Fall 2016 - 11
Context - Fall 2016 - Mayor Kenney’s Infrastructure Policy
Context - Fall 2016 - 13
Context - Fall 2016 - 14
Context - Fall 2016 - 15
Context - Fall 2016 - Green Infrastructure in Philadelphia: The Reading Viaduct Rail Park
Context - Fall 2016 - 17
Context - Fall 2016 - 18
Context - Fall 2016 - 19
Context - Fall 2016 - Streets: They’re Not Just for Cars Any More
Context - Fall 2016 - 21
Context - Fall 2016 - 22
Context - Fall 2016 - 23
Context - Fall 2016 - 24
Context - Fall 2016 - 25
Context - Fall 2016 - 26
Context - Fall 2016 - 27
Context - Fall 2016 - Expression
Context - Fall 2016 - 29
Context - Fall 2016 - Design Profiles
Context - Fall 2016 - 31
Context - Fall 2016 - 32
Context - Fall 2016 - 33
Context - Fall 2016 - 34
Context - Fall 2016 - 35
Context - Fall 2016 - 36
Context - Fall 2016 - Marketplace
Context - Fall 2016 - Index to Advertisers
Context - Fall 2016 - cover3
Context - Fall 2016 - cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/AIPQ/AIPQ0416
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/AIPQ/AIPQ0316
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/AIPQ/AIPQ0216
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/AIPQ/AIPQ0116
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/AIPQ/AIPQ0415
https://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/AIPQ/AIPQ0315
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com