Summer is upon us, and urban families everywhere are itching to get outdoors. With many stay-at-home orders still in effect and social distancing a reality for several more months, it’s tough to know where to go to find some space. Thankfully, cities across the globe have begun to implement slow streets and other similar initiatives to give us room to breathe close to home.
Never heard of slow streets? They’re residential side streets closed to through traffic (but still open to residents for street parking) to make space for walking, biking, scooter riding, roller-blading, skateboarding, and other human-scale activities. Slow streets feel like a younger sibling of complete streets, a more formal policy to design streets for all mobility options and people of all ages and abilities.
This is a big win! Especially for us urban families who are really feeling the closure of parks and playgrounds as summer approaches. If you get a chance, visit a slow street in your city (find options below) and post a photo mentioning your city officials and tagging #streetsforkids. This is a fantastic opportunity for urban families to advocate for safer streets across the city and to lift our voices in support of these human-first initiatives. We’ve spoken to so many parents who feel as if policymakers forget to consider the needs of families when making civic decisions. Let’s use this moment to show our mayors and councilpeople and aldermen how vibrant urban family life can be!
Find shared streets in your city:
- Berkeley – pending!
- Boston (see map here)
- Chicago – request more shared streets here.
- Los Angeles
- Madison (see map here)
- New Orleans
- New York City
- Salt Lake City
- San Diego
- San Francisco
- Seattle – some of these streets are set to become permanently closed to through traffic!
- Washington, DC – pending!
*Don’t forget to stay safe when visiting shared streets. Wear a face covering for your sake and the sake of your neighbors and keep a safe distance. Group gatherings and block parties can happen later.