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

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

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

West Wellington Avenue in Chicago.

A major expansion of pedestrian space on 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

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

Beale Street, San Francisco

More space for walking, less for cars on 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

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

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.

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