Select Page


Think about when you meet someone in your neighborhood when you are walking down the street. When you are both on foot, or maybe even on a bike, you are more likely to wave, or smile, or even say hello. There is something about a face-to-face interaction that brings out our common decency.

When you pass a stranger in your car, however, there is no sense of interaction. You’re in your separate worlds. You pass by with little notice of each other. You might even get irrationally angry at each other. When we are shut off from the world in our vehicles we do not consider ourselves part of that outside world. In contrast, when you walk down the street, you are as much a part of the world around you as the street itself. So what happens when we stop walking down the streets, and start driving down them?

Traffic is an often-visited topic on this blog, but sometimes it is hard to provide facts to support the claims that traffic is harmful to our neighborhoods. The video above, from StreetFilms, however, gives us some cold hard facts about the true harm traffic causes. The graphs showing the social interactions on a lightly trafficked street vs. a heavily trafficked street send a clear message; traffic damages our social structure. It reduces our very quality of life, from the moment it enters our neighborhoods.

I encourage you to watch this fantastic video from StreetFilms, and consider how traffic can be kept out of neighborhoods and the sense of community can be enhanced.