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Car-Free Streets

Live from Denver: Two Streetfilms, Two Great Ideas, One Leading City

Slow ’em down!

Traffic calming isn't only for squares.

During his weeklong sojourn to the NACTO conference in Denver earlier this month, Streetfilms auteur Clarence Eckerson Jr. got to see the next generation in traffic circles — a design with a rotary so big that car drivers have to slow down. Check out the film below:

Here's the intersection now, thanks to the massive radial speed reducer:

After: This SUV has to slow down to 5 miles per hour — a perfect example of how design can reduce roadway dangers for pedestrians and cyclists. Photo: Clarence Eckerson Jr.
After: This SUV has to slow down to 5 miles per hour — a perfect example of how design can reduce roadway dangers for pedestrians and cyclists. Photo: Clarence Eckerson Jr.
After: This SUV has to slow down to 5 miles per hour — a perfect example of how design can reduce roadway dangers for pedestrians and cyclists. Photo: Clarence Eckerson Jr.

Here's what it looked like before:

Before: A wide-open speeding zone. Photo: Google
Before: A wide-open speeding zone. Photo: Google
Before: A wide-open speeding zone. Photo: Google

Some locals complained in the North Denver Star that the circles still give too much priority to car drivers, but the Denver Department of Transportation and Infrastructure maintains that the slower speeds will improve safety.

Eckerson was also on hand to christen the first of four ¡Viva Streets! — Denver's version of a cyclovia — that turned out to be joyous despite some concerns about the weather. Why can't cities do this every weekend in their center cores?

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