Taking to the Streets by Christine Porcaro

By | October 11, 2012

One of the greatest aspects of living in a city is one’s ability to have access to so many neat stores, activities and events. One of the inconveniences of being in the city is constantly being surrounded by cars. The ability to ride a bike or walk around can sometimes be life-threatening because cars rule the road.

The Globe and Mail reported this week that a city councilor in Toronto, Kristyn Wong-Tam, is looking to help make a change so that more “people-friendly” places exist. After Ms. Wong-Tam’s trip to Guadalajara, Mexico where she saw the city close 60 kilometers of road to vehicular traffic on Sunday mornings she wanted to see a similar practice in Toronto. The area that would be closed would then become a space for outdoor activities such as cycling, running, walking, rollerblading, etc.

While there is a fear that this could cause more traffic for cars in the rest of the city, Ms. Wong-Tam said she wants to find a way where congestion around the rest of the city will not be created.

A city can become that much livelier if people are free to be outside without worrying about cars. This also has a positive effect for businesses as more people will congregate in areas where they are free to roam and walk around. This also can become an area where farmers markets and small festivals take place throughout the year. While a concern for traffic in the rest of the city should remain at the forefront of the discussion, a push towards creating a pedestrian/cyclist friendly area would be a great addition to any city.

Questions for you – share your thoughts below!
How do you feel about big cities?
Do you think your own city could use more people-friendly areas?
What would you place in these people-friendly areas? (i.e. stores, venues, stalls, etc.)