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Word on the Street

Welcome to Word on the Street, where Curbed urbanism editor Alissa Walker highlights the pioneering transit, clever civic design, and game-changing policy affecting our cities.

Fix your intersection, fix your city

Our intersections are too dangerous. Here’s some expert advice for making them safer for everyone.

140 countries just pledged to eliminate traffic deaths. The U.S. did not.

The Stockholm Declaration is the safe streets equivalent of the Paris climate agreement.

Safe streets are the best tool we have to combat climate change

Driving short trips because walking and biking doesn’t feel safe is one reason transportation emissions keep going up.

Car ads are bad for our cities

Why can car companies drive recklessly on the very streets where people have been killed by reckless drivers?

These mayors pledged to reduce emissions. Why are they widening highways?

Some Climate Mayors make big promises on the international stage, but expand fossil-fuel infrastructure at home.

Want to get people to fly less? Stop funding billion-dollar airport expansions.

Flight shaming should be directed at officials building fossil-fuel infrastructure, not passengers.

Why street vendors make cities feel safer

Vendors not only activate public space—they do so in places chronically ignored by city planners.

Every bus in this country deserves its own lane

Freeing our buses could fix a lot of our problems.

6 ways trip-planning apps can change your commute

From navigating the best route to fare integration tools like Apple Pay, smartphones are a catalyst for making better transportation choices.

Delivery trucks are hurting cities. Can making them smaller help?

A chilling Amazon investigation shows the importance of "rightsizing" vehicles on city streets.

Only one candidate is talking seriously about transportation. Everyone should be

It’s not just our fossil fuel dependence that needs to be addressed, it’s our car dependence.

State transportation departments need to give up on cars

Maryland’s plan to expand its highways is part of a troubling pattern

Bike lanes need barriers, not just paint

Cities shouldn’t let their cyclists get run over.

Open-streets festivals can help cities practice for congestion pricing

Events that open streets provide a fun, low-risk opportunity to try getting around without a car.

Congestion pricing is the only way to fix our broken transportation system

Streets will only work for everyone when drivers pay their fair share to use them.

Elon Musk’s Tunnel Is Really Just a Highway—And It Won’t Fix Traffic at All

We don’t need more dedicated places where cars can go fast.

How electric bikes can make streets safer

Electric bikes are a game-changer for the people who need them most.

How traveling abroad with kids showed me how to fix U.S. transit

Our trip to Sweden featured reliable trains, wide sidewalks, ubiquitous bathrooms—and no car seats.

Why U.S. cities need more multi-racial, mixed-income neighborhoods

Socioeconomically diverse communities are better for everyone. Can they be created without displacing anyone?

The problem with turning urban challenges into games

Tech companies like gamifying civic problems—but they often reward the wrong things.

Don’t ban scooters. Redesign streets.

Cities are busy regulating mobility startups, but ignoring the real problem—there’s still too much space for cars.

People are not defined by what we use to get around

From ‘cargo-bike moms’ to ‘tech bros on scooters,’ transportation stereotypes can make streets more dangerous.

Can dockless and station-based bike-share programs coexist?

Bike share is the U.S.’s biggest transportation success story. Can cities keep growing ridership while welcoming more options to their streets?

Uber’s Skyports are just freeway onramps for flying cars

Will a one-hour commute on a congested freeway be replaced by a one-hour line for the elevator that lifts you to your taxi in the sky?

Scooters could solve a big urban mobility issue—if startups listen

Kids and seniors know that scooters are the future. Startups should pay attention to them.

You can’t be a ‘climate mayor’ if you’re making more room for cars

U.S. cities still aren’t doing enough to address the elephant in the atmosphere: the inextricable link between our cars and climate change.

How a famous car commercial makes a case for getting rid of cars

This 15-year-old Saturn ad shows how much space cities devote to vehicles.

Why transit nerds are so jealous of Seattle

The city’s tweeting traffic engineer explains how small changes to streets are adding up to big improvements

Why isn’t homelessness seen as a national crisis?

Cities call on the federal government to confront the growing numbers of homeless residents

‘Planet Earth’ episode shows the dark side of urbanization

"Cities" illustrates how human habitats are increasingly incompatible with the species that lived there first.

How a mid-sized Canadian city became the envy of urban planners

Canada’s smartest city isn’t Sidewalk Toronto.

We need to talk about that ‘Black Mirror’ episode with the architect

A negligent autonomous pizza van becomes a metaphor for smart cities everywhere.

The unsupervised kids of 'Stranger Things' would be a nightmare for today's parents

These days, only kids in movies are free to explore.

As Houston rebuilds, its unbridled growth could be key to its success

What everyone is calling Houston’s weakness could end up being the city’s greatest strength as it recovers from Harvey.

How 180,000 rainbow balls transformed this Montreal neighborhood

The balls create a canopy over a pedestrianized street in the city’s Gay Village, turning it into a vibrant destination.

How Trump’s infrastructure plan puts cities, and climate action, at risk

Cities are experiencing climate disasters today. Trump’s plan puts them in more danger.

Denver’s creative plan to address its housing shortage

A "buy-down" program rents vacant apartments to families that couldn’t afford them otherwise.

An Ohio city is turning a freeway into a forest

Akron plans to convert a decommissioned highway into a 35-acre park.