Greater City Providence

StreetFilms: Traffic Calming Postcards from London

As we look towards rebuilding a bunch of former streets in the 195 corridor, and as we simply turn our attention back to our aging infrastructure, this video from London is timely.

Sure, Providence is no London, but we are an old historic city, with small circuitous streets, and we have a need to balance the needs of automobiles, pedestrians, and cyclists. We’re much like London, simply at a smaller scale.

One of the things that I really like about what London is doing is reducing the clutter on the sidewalks (the pavements as the narrator calls them). Combining lamposts and street signs with trash barrels and bike racks makes the sidewalk much easier to navigate and makes for less infrastructure needing maintenance.

Also, simply calming traffic. We posted the 20’s plenty video where they looked at reducing speeds. You can legislate any speed limit you want (in Providence it is 25mph), but if the street is built for speed, drivers will move at the speed the street is built for. How many people drive 25mph on North Main Street or Memorial Blvd. for instance?

Jef Nickerson

Jef is Greater City Providence's co-founder, editor, and publisher. He grew up on Cape Cod and lived in Boston; Portland, Maine; and New York before settling in Providence. In addition to urbanism, Jef is interested in art, design, and ice cream. Please feel free to contact Jef if you have any question or comments about Greater City Providence.

1 comment

  • Interesting exploration of possible ways to make bike, foot, delivery truck, through- and local-car traffic more congenial and relaxed.

    Meanwhile, up on the I-195 project:

    New (macadam#@%#%@^#!) sidewalks are going in as Bassett St. extends to the intersect with the new service road. And in the middle of the walk on the north side of Bassett, two round concrete pads are in place to hold lamp posts in the middle of the sidewalk?!!!

    Why do we let RIDoT implement in-town infrastructure? Just because they are paying for it, do they have to abandon common sense?

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