Communities get few moments to rethink their streets and make decisions that will serve the basic purposes of transportation, address urgent challenges like climate change, rising obesity, social isolation and conflict, and expand opportunities for general happiness throughout society. Such a pivotal moment is upon us, as autonomous vehicles represent a potentially disruptive technology that can re-make the city for good or for ill.
Urbanism Next has released a new report delineating ways our communities can begin repurposing their most common public space – the streets – to better serve public uses. Driverless cars may need less parking, narrower lanes, and may be able to occupy bi-directional shared lanes, all leading to a significantly reduced need for road space currently used to move and store vehicles. Where driverless cars are primarily available as fleets where users are buying rides instead of vehicles, the space savings may be more significant.
City planners, policy makers and community residents have a unique, and immediate, opportunity to rethink their streets with purposeful and creative consideration about how this critical public good may best serve the public for generations to come. Read this Urbanism Next report to learn more. And to see other Urbanism Next briefs, visit this page.