#SLOWTHECARS … “Streets emphasize wealth creation. Roads are about movement.”


The primary reason why Jeff Gahan botched the two-way grid reversion is explained right here. It’s because he didn’t know, or didn’t care, about the difference between a street and a road.

Charles Marohn could have told him; Jeff Speck tried. So did numerous advocates in New Albany.

Deaf ears … Deaf(er) Gahan.

SLOW THE CARS, by Charles Marohn (Strong Towns)

We design our streets like roads, as if their primary function — and sometimes their sole function — is the movement of automobiles.

Many people don’t grasp the difference between a street and a road. They think the terms are interchangeable, and rightly so. In the United States, we’ve spent decades — and trillions of dollars — blurring the distinctions.

To make our cities financially strong and successful, we need to reclaim the lost art of building great streets, and we must empower our transportation professionals to build high-performance roadways. There is a serious difference between those two pursuits.

Streets: The function of a street is to serve as a platform for building wealth. On a street, we’re attempting to grow the complex ecosystem of businesses and homes that produces community wealth. In these environments, people (outside of their automobiles) are the indicator species of success. Successful streets are environments where humans and human interaction flourish.

Roads: In contrast, the function of a road is to connect productive places to one another. You can think of a road as a refinement of the railroad — a road on rails — where people board in one place, depart in another and there is a high speed connection between the two.

With a street, we’re trying to build a place. With a road, we’re trying to get from one place to another. Streets emphasize wealth creation. Roads are about movement …