Skip to Content
Streetsblog USA home
Streetsblog USA home
Log In
Complete Streets

Photographic Proof That America Can Make Streets for People Instead of Cars

Whitney Avenue in New Haven, Connecticut
Walking across Whitney Avenue in New Haven, Connecticut, got a lot more inviting with these sidewalk extensions and painted crosswalks. Before/after via Google Street View and URB-I
Whitney Avenue in New Haven, Connecticut

Need some inspiration to make your city's streets safer and more inviting?

Here's a good place to start: URB-I, a collective of urban designers based in São Paulo, has been collecting before and after images of street transformations using Google Street View's time lapse feature. The stockpile has grown to include 1,000 places around the world, including 107 in the United States. Below we've curated a selection of street redesign porn from URB-I's library.

Like this one from Chicago -- a parking crater by W Monroe Street transformed into a park:

West Monroe Street in Chicago via URB-I
West Monroe Street in Chicago via URB-I

Also from Chicago -- painted sidewalk extensions made the "Lincoln Hub," a six-pointed intersection, safer for pedestrians:

West Wellington Avenue in Chicago.
West Wellington Avenue in Chicago.

A major expansion of pedestrian space on Market Street in Philly:

Market Street in Philly
Market Street in Philly

What a difference some tables, chairs, planters, and bollards make by Gansevoort Street in Manhattan:

Gansevoort Street, New York City
Gansevoort Street, New York City

Here's the area around Beale Street in San Francisco with and without an elevated road:

Beale Street, San Francisco
Beale Street, San Francisco

More space for walking, less for cars on Broadway in Seattle:

Broadway in Seattle
Broadway in Seattle

A new public plaza by Griffith Park Boulevard in Los Angeles:

Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 4.12.32 PM

It's not just coastal cities on URB-I's map -- here's a pedestrian-friendly overhaul of Indianapolis's West Georgia Street:

West Georgia Street in Indianapolis
West Georgia Street in Indianapolis

Another parking crater transformation -- the Ohio River Scenic Byway on the Cincinnati waterfront.

Ohio River Scenic Byway, Cincinnati
Ohio River Scenic Byway, Cincinnati

And here's the Detroit Riverwalk by Atwater Street:

Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 4.13.45 PM

This collection barely scratches the surface of what you can find in URB-I's catalogue, which includes hundreds of international examples.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog USA

Wednesday’s Headlines Are in a Good Place

How should we react to public indifference about the danger cars pose to society? Perhaps a sitcom has something to teach us.

July 24, 2024

Opinion: Is Kamala Harris ‘The Climate President We’ve Been Waiting For’?

Kamala Harris fought hard for a better transportation plan in the San Diego region despite big political risks. If elected president, will she do the same for the country?

July 24, 2024

America is Setting Micromobility Records — But That Boom Could Go Bust Without Public Funding

Shared bike and scooter trips soared 20 percent in a single year. So why are so many U.S. systems shutting down — and what will it take to keep the revolution rolling?

July 24, 2024

Get on the bus! Advocates Urge Mayor Johnson to Save Chicago Greyhound Terminal

According to the letter, rehabbing the station would cost less that $40M, a small fraction of the price tag of many other local transportation projects.

July 23, 2024

Tuesday’s Headlines Are Running Hard

More political news: Today's top stories delve into Kamala Harris' record on climate change and Republicans' plans for the Trump administration if he returns to power.

July 23, 2024
See all posts