Note: This post was written by Cameron Peterson, MA student.
On February 24, 2011, I presented a poster at the MIT Transportation Showcase on the research that Julian and I have been undertaking to explore the theme of spatial justice as it relates to the streetscape (see earlier blog: Spatial justice on Södra Vägen). The poster, as seen below, was entitled “Democratizing Streetscapes: Rethinking Streets as Public Spaces” and sought to highlight our research aims, initial findings, and the primary assumption fueling the research: that street space is allocated according to an autonormative paradigm, in which single-user vehicles dominate, and pedestrian spaces, bike lanes, and public transit lanes are relegated to a secondary status. And that’s not just us being paranoid! Remember, the fundamental guide to street design —the Policy on Geometric Design of Highways and Streets published by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)—says that the purpose of street design is to ensure “operational efficiency, comfort, safety, and convenience for the motorist.”