Not to speak too soon, but it looks like snow accumulation totals for this winter will pale in comparison to those of previous years. And we ain't mad. Because the thing is, it doesn't take a whole lot of snow to make a big difference in urban planning. Jon Geeting of Plan Philly has not let the dearth of snowflakes slow down his #PHLsneckdowns campaign. He explains:
When snow accumulates on the street, and cars drive over it for a little while, they help reveal the spaces on the street that they don't use. There's a whole lot of asphalt out there that's allocated to cars instead of pedestrians that cars don't really need. And it seems to be working. Late last summer, Curbed reported in the wake of Geeting's This Old City report on "crappy pedestrian experiences" on East Passyunk Avenue at 10th and Reed, around $400,000 was being spent on work that included "traffic calming techniques like expanding the curbs to shorten the distance pedestrians have to walk, improved signaling and the installation of ADA compliant ramps."
In addition, Geeting recently reported on Plan Philly that University City District used these snow accumulations to make the case for their pedestrian plaza at 48th and Baltimore. "They're a great persuasive tool because they're so visual," Geeting says. Here's one of his 'sneckdown' photos from 12th and Reed:
So when it does actually snow this year, if even just a little, brave the cold and take your own 'sneckdown' photos. Tweet the photos @PlanPhilly and use the #PHLsneckdowns hashtag. It's the hope that these 'sneckdown' photos continue to be powerful tools in creating small but mighty public spaces in the city that benefit pedestrians, drivers, and cyclists alike.
· Readers brave the snow and send us your sneckdown photos [Plan Philly]
· Snow day's over: repurposing those snowgrams [Curbed Philly]
· South Philly's 'sneckdown' intersection on its way to being fixed [Curbed Philly]
· South East Center City Facebook Group
· Can snow inspire better streets? It already has [Streetsblog USA]