Transportation Matters for Main Streets


Safety First

"The safety of a street works best... most casually, and with least frequent taint of hostility… precisely when people are using and most enjoying the streets voluntarily."

- Jane Jacobs

The bias towards high-speed mobility, traffic efficiency, and street space for cars has made many of our streets unsafe for pedestrians and bicyclists, which can pressure more people into using cars in an effort to protect their safety. This vicious cycle further perpetuates both traffic congestion and the likelihood of pedestrian and motorist deaths.

Safety concerns resulting from the perceived risk of crime is another factor that makes individuals less likely to walk and more likely to retreat to car use. The atmosphere of our streetscapes and the practical design of streets can impact both the incidences of crime and the extent to which people fear the possibility of crime. Therefore, in terms of safety from both traffic and crime on Main Street, transportation and streets do matter.

Unsafe conditions of car-oriented streets include:

  • High speeds
  • Streetscapes unfriendly to pedestrians and cyclists
  • Crime that can be encouraged by poorly-lit and underused sidewalks

Benefits of people-oriented streets include:

  • Saved lives and improved accessibility
  • Reduced crime
  • Sense of security and more human interaction


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