I began listening to podcasts during my workouts and have fallen in love with 99% Invisible. 99% Invisible brands itself as a “show about design, architecture & the 99% invisible activity that shapes our world.” Today I listened to the episode “Built for Speed.”
The episode does a very good job of covering the issues related to designing “forgiving roads.” These are roads that are designed to “forgive” mistakes made on the road in order to reduce the severity of an accident. As a result, it became common practice in the 1970s to build wider streets with wider lanes, remove trees, and not build sidewalks in order to make it safter for a driver if they veered off the road.
Through interviews with Dennis Schafer and Tom Vanderbilt the episode discusses why Arterial Streets, designed to be forgiving, are in fact among the most dangerous streets in North America. I highly recommend the podcast as a primer on some of the issues with modern road design and their effect on today’s cities.