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Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sneckdown: Using snow to design safer streets | BBC News

Commuters make their way under a snowfall on January 21, 2014 in Washington, DC
Massive snowfalls like the one that hit the US east coast this week usually spell trouble for traffic. But critics of America's car-centric transport network are using the snow - and Twitter - to demonstrate how roads should be redesigned to make them safer for pedestrians.
Fast-falling snow can lead to unsafe driving conditions, massive pile-ups, delayed trains, cancelled flights and slippery sidewalks.
But advocates for safer streets say the snow can also help illustrate how conditions can be improved.
"The snow is almost like nature's tracing paper," says Clarence Eckerson Jr, the director of StreetFilms, which documents pedestrian- and cycle-friendly streets across the globe. He says that snow can be helpful in pointing out traffic patterns and changing street composition for the better.
"When you dump some snow on this giant grid of streets, now you can see, visually, how people can better use the streets," he says.

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