If You Want Safe Streets, Buy a Better Fire Engine
That lesson was brought home, once again, by the Opticos team’s work on a recent downtown plan. Our team had encountered a typical American conflict. Many community members wanted walkable streets, with wide sidewalks, protected bicycle lanes, slow-moving traffic, and ample room for trees, flowers, and sidewalk cafés. The fire department wanted wide, unobstructed swathes of asphalt.
This conflict between community members’ desire for low-speed streets, with a high level of traffic safety, and a fire department’s desire for wide, high-speed roads is frequent in the United States. But in Europe, it is rare.