April 25, 2008

‘Pedestrians will be given priority over parking spaces’

"Pedestrians will be given priority over parking spaces as part of a facelift for Praia do Carvoeiro," starts a newspaper report on renovation plans for a village in Portugal.

"We want to make this an area of beauty for people and not cars," a spokesman for the area told The Online Resident. Adds the article:
"Parking spaces next to the square and beach are to be removed to make the entire area more pleasant for residents and visitors to walk about."

Do you know of  many American towns where traffic flow and parking don't take priority in planning discussions over streetscape aesthetics? And pedestrian appeal suffers.

One way to gauge whether a place has aesthetic appeal for people, as opposed to cars alone, is simply to see whether a lot of people are out walking around. If a place is walkable - it feels safe, attractive and inviting - and the weather's good, people should be out. If they're not, something's wrong.

Former Milwaukee mayor John Norquist has been credited with another simple method: the "Postcard Test." Would people want to buy a postcard of a neighborhood scene?

By the way, here's an overview picture of Praia do Carvoeiro. However, you don't need stunning oceanfront to pass the postcard test, as places like Concord, Mass. clearly demonstrate.

1 comment:

  1. Yea there are very few leaders (Bloomberg) in the US who would even consider reducing parking. I wonder sometimes if buried in the Constitution is the right to free parking:)