Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Atlanta's "response" to people arguing that streets are too narrow for streetcars

Atlanta Streetcar
Atlanta Streetcar by Central Atlanta Progress, on Flickr.

Talking with Suzanne about creating the best circumstances to move change forward, we were talking about Anacostia and streetcars as an example--people opposed streetcars, generally for reasons that I see as illogical, and one of the points made is that the streets are too narrow.

I argue that for change to occur, it's best to start from a place where the chances of success are the greatest, rather than trying to do so in places where the ability to successfully implement change is much more difficult--even with the best of intentions such as concerns for equitable development.

As Donald Shoup said once, at a conference on the DC "Great Streets" program in 2005, when you have to make choices about where to spend limited funds, "it's best to help people who are already helping themselves."

Martin Luther King Junior Avenue SE in Anacostia is plenty wide enough for a streetcar. Photo from Wikipedia.

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