About Ways To Go
What are city streets for? For decades, the urban planners and traffic engineers who designed America’s great cities had one answer to this question: a city street is designed to move cars from one place to another.
We can see the legacy of this philosophy every day on the clogged streets of America’s major cities. Our traffic jams are not just isolated incidents caused by a closed lane or stalled truck. Rather they are the consequence of a deep and longheld belief that streets belong to, are designed for, and should be accessed by, cars.
The idea for Ways To Go began germinating when I was driving home to Brooklyn, New York after a work trip to Connecticut. When possible I travel the Northeast by train, but traveling with film equipment means driving.
In this case, we made good time back from Connecticut to the New York City border in the Bronx. But because of terrible traffic, the drive from there to Brooklyn—a drive that ought to take 30-45 minutes—took almost two hours.
That drive, and a few others like it, got me thinking: what is going to happen to cities as they become more and more populated? The traffic in certain American cities is already legendary. Is it just going to get worse or is there anything cities can do to improve the situation?