If you've ever lived in a high-density urban area that has a quieter or low-speed street, then you are probably familiar with traffic calming, an urban design strategy for more safe, complete streets. Traffic calming started out as a grassroots movement in early 1960s Europe. The motivation of Dutch residents in the city of Delft was to divert vehicle traffic and its negative effects, like noise, congestion and accidents.
Inspired by current discussions at my place of work revolving around traffic calming for a busy corridor in North Minneapolis, I explored a few South Minneapolis neighborhoods and downtown in search of other ideas and already employed remedies. Pictured in the last three images, Nicollet Avenue stands out as a unique example. Dubbed "Eat Street" because of its high volume of restaurants and coffee shops, the two-laned street is a good illustration of how a highly frequented thoroughfare can be user-friendly to pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers.
But what are other ways to traffic calm? Could direct engagement from one user group to another, be a way to utilize this medium and generate complete streets?