“Low-car streets work”
Jonathan Maus of BikePortland.org recently explored Copenhagen and wrote a great piece about one of its best streets, Nørrebrogade. Automobile parking is practically non-existent there, yet the strip is as busy and vibrant as any commercial district anywhere in the world.
In city after city where people had priority over cars I saw small businesses, public spaces, and life in general — flourishing. How is it possible?! Don’t those businesses need cars to survive? What about emergency vehicle access? What about freight trucks? We are very good in the states at finding reasons we can’t do things; but even though I’m aware this is far beyond an apples-to-apples comparison, it does give me hope to know that there are places in the world where human beings live — and live well — without cars at the center of everything.
When I visited and rode down this street, it reminded me very much of Broadway through Soho or 5th and 7th Avenues in Park Slope. It was a perfect example of what happens when a city prioritizes the movement of people over the storage of their vehicles.