Skip to Content
Streetsblog Chicago home
Streetsblog Chicago home
Log In
Streetsblog Chicago

Photographic Proof That America Can Make Streets for People Instead of Cars

Whitney Avenue in New Haven, Connecticut
Walking across Whitney Avenue in New Haven, Connecticut, got a lot more inviting with these sidewalk extensions and painted crosswalks. Before/after via Google Street View and URB-I
false

Need some inspiration to make your city's streets safer and more inviting?

Here's a good place to start: URB-I, a collective of urban designers based in São Paulo, has been collecting before and after images of street transformations using Google Street View's time lapse feature. The stockpile has grown to include 1,000 places around the world, including 107 in the United States. Below we've curated a selection of street redesign porn from URB-I's library.

Like this one from Chicago -- a parking crater by W Monroe Street transformed into a park:

West Monroe Street in Chicago via URB-I
false

Also from Chicago -- painted sidewalk extensions made the "Lincoln Hub," a six-pointed intersection, safer for pedestrians:

West Wellington Avenue in Chicago.
false

A major expansion of pedestrian space on Market Street in Philly:

Market Street in Philly
false

What a difference some tables, chairs, planters, and bollards make by Gansevoort Street in Manhattan:

Gansevoort Street, New York City
false

Here's the area around Beale Street in San Francisco with and without an elevated road:

Beale Street, San Francisco
false

More space for walking, less for cars on Broadway in Seattle:

Broadway in Seattle
false

A new public plaza by Griffith Park Boulevard in Los Angeles:

Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 4.12.32 PM
false

It's not just coastal cities on URB-I's map -- here's a pedestrian-friendly overhaul of Indianapolis's West Georgia Street:

West Georgia Street in Indianapolis
false

Another parking crater transformation -- the Ohio River Scenic Byway on the Cincinnati waterfront.

Ohio River Scenic Byway, Cincinnati
false

And here's the Detroit Riverwalk by Atwater Street:

Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 4.13.45 PM
false

This collection barely scratches the surface of what you can find in URB-I's catalogue, which includes hundreds of international examples.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog Chicago

Get on the bus! Advocates and organizations urge Mayor Johnson to take action to save the Greyhound Terminal

According to the letter, rehabbing the station would cost less that $40M, a small fraction of the price tag of many other local transportation projects.

July 23, 2024

Proposed Archer, Kedzie upgrades would be a big step forward to improve traffic safety on the Southwest Side

The planned improvements include a 4-to-3 road diet and slip lane removals on Archer, protected bike lanes, pedestrian upgrades, and bus boarding islands.

July 22, 2024

We are all in the underperforming Chicagoland transit network. But some of us are looking at the Star:Line.

According to Star:Line Chicago, "The 2034sight Plan is an ambitious — and achievable — ten-year framework to lay the groundwork to modernize Chicagoland’s existing local passenger rail system."

July 19, 2024
See all posts