Philly hopes to benefit from Pete Buttigieg’s goal of sharing the road - The Philadelphia Inquirer

Time was, Main and Michigan Streets were one-way conduits to rush cars and SUVs through the heart of South Bend, Ind., at the end of the workday. As God intended.

But Mayor Pete Buttigieg, now the new U.S. transportation secretary, converted downtown streets to two-way traffic, built three traffic roundabouts at key intersections, added bike lanes, and widened sidewalks.

There is a “generational opportunity” to change mobility in the nation’s cities and towns by following principles of the urbanist Complete Streets movement such as these, Buttigieg likes to say. Making it easier to walk, bike, and access transit can fight climate change while promoting racial justice, economic growth — and safety.

“There are so many ways that people get around, and I think often we have an autocentric view that forgets historically all of the other different modes,” Buttigieg said at his confirmation hearing Jan. 21.

“We want to make sure that every time we do a street design that it enables cars, bicycles, and pedestrians, and businesses … to coexist in a positive way. We should be putting funding behind that.”

In Philadelphia, a sustainable approach to transportation became city policy under the Kenney administration. Vision Zero, for instance, aims to eliminate traffic fatalities by 2025 with traffic-calming strategies on the 12% of city roads where 80% of serious injuries and deaths occur.

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