Transportation Matters for Main Streets


Better Together

“The street is the river of life of the city, the place where we come together, the pathway to the center.” 
– William H. Whyte

Our streets and transportation systems—especially around Main Street districts—determine how people can get to, connect with, and build up their communities, and they can also create the space for communal life to unfold.

Physical features and intentional community engagement are both at the heart of people-oriented street planning and design. Together, the physical elements of downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts and thoughtful community engagement with residents can impact overall connectivity, culture, health, sense of place, and belonging.

Car-oriented streets can create a sense of disconnectedness through:
  • Barriers to community connection
  • Eroded sense of physical geography
The benefits communities can reap from people-oriented streets include:
  • Gathering places for democracy and advocacy in action
  • Social cohesion and resilience
  • Sense of place
  • Main Street character
  • Effective transit
  • Enhanced sense of culture and community
  • Public trust built from community engagement


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