Skip to Content
Streetsblog USA home
Streetsblog USA home
Log In
Tactical Urbanism

Toronto Neighbors Calm Street Using Only Leaves and Chalk

Toronto resident Dave Meslin and his neighbors used chalk and leaves to show how a local intersection would be right-sized. Photo: Dave Meslin/Twitter

You've heard of the sneckdown -- when traffic after a snowstorm creates patterns that reveal how much space can be claimed for pedestrians. Now a group of neighbors in Toronto has made "nature's traffic calming" a multi-season activity.

Dave Meslin wanted to demonstrate how a local intersection could be transformed into a safer, more neighborhood-friendly space. He and some of his neighbors went to work with some leaves and chalk, Meslin wrote on Facebook:

Using only chalk and leaves (and maintaining all existing road widths at 28 feet) we revealed a surplus surface area of 2,000 square feet which could be transformed into a parkette, new sidewalks, and much shorter/safer crossings.

The "leafy neckdown" is the talk of Toronto, reports BlogTO. Meslin told the blog's Lauren O'Neil that prior to the group's intervention, drivers never seemed to understand where to stop, even though the intersection has three stop signs. But the chalk lines seem to have clarified what drivers are supposed to do, and it feels a lot safer.

Meslin says he'd like to see the street permanently transformed, with the excess pavement turned into grass.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog USA

Delivery Worker Minimum Wage Shows Promise … For Some, Data Shows

New data from New York City's Department of Consumer and Worker Protection shows minimum wage is bringing order to a previously wild industry.

July 15, 2024

Monday’s Headlines Go Through Basic Training

An NYU study looks into why the U.S. is lagging behind on high-speed rail, and one transportation expert ponders the impact on growth.

July 15, 2024

Sustainable Transportation Advocates Need to Talk About Sustainable Urban Design

A new book hopes to act as a "magic decoder ring" to our built environment — and a powerful tool to understand how sustainable transportation networks can fit within them.

July 15, 2024

Long Beach Leads in Traffic Circles

Traffic circles aren't quite ubiquitous in Long Beach, but they're around. Riding and walking through the city one encounters circles in neighborhoods rich and poor, new and old.

July 12, 2024

Friday’s Headlines Take Me to the River

Politico reports that the Biden administration is investing $2.5 billion in updating aging Mississippi River locks and dams like this one in Iowa. Transporting freight by barge produces less emissions than trucks or even rail.

July 12, 2024
See all posts