Over the weekend Pittsburgh and much of the East Coast received record amounts of snow. With nearly two feet of snow in my lovely hilly city, plows were ineffective, and cars were essentially trapped in their parking spaces. While understandably frustrating for many, the streets became a de facto party space for pedestrians.
Almost totally devoid of cars, people took their sleds, their skis, and their snowboards to the steep streets that seemed to be made for this purpose. Everyone was reveling in the ability to walk in the middle of the street without worrying about cars, and to use the topography of the land for great amounts of fun.
Unfortunately my camera battery became “exhausted” and I was not able to get a pictures of the guy commuting to a party on his snowboard, the people skiing down Fisk and Main Streets, or the sledders who flew down the middle of the road, giddy and yelping with delight.
Here are some night shots of empty streets. The electrical wires covered in snow make me want to have a block party!
This hill is half a mile long and made for excellent sledding. There was a lot of talk that night about how great streets are without cars, and I agree.
Wouldn’t it be nice if one out of ten streets going in any direction were just for pedestrians or nonmotorized transport?
There certainly are plenty of roads that cars are free to use, why not set some aside for people who aren’t traveling in a steel box, for people want to walk or ride in the middle of their streets and call out to their neighbors? For children who want to play safely in the streets, and their parents who don’t want to worry about them.
Germany has something like this called play streets. I write about it here, and we could use it HERE.