By Clémence Morlet
Feb 24, 2014
Everyday, high-density global cities are home to millions of pedestrians in their streets. Paradoxically though, many streets and transportation policies continue to place more space and importance on cars rather than people.
In Paris, where I hail from, almost 60% of journeys are exclusively pedestrian (this is without any consideration of walking as a part of a multimodal trip). New York City, which is more than four times larger than Paris with relatively low-density & little public transit in outer boroughs compared to Paris, still has a pedestrian mode share of 34% for all trips citywide ahead of car (33%) and transit (30%). Furthermore, 53% of Manhattan workers who live in Manhattan use no car, bus, subway or train in their everyday trips but instead walk, ride a bicycle or motorcycle, take a taxicab, or work at home. Having experienced this for myself in both cities, I decided to compare the two: How do they support this large pedestrian population and decrease auto-dominance in public space?
Beyond this first glance, shared spaces in Paris and New York’s slow zones differ from each other in many aspects showing that both cities are not at the same step towards a street-sharing plan we can accept. In the second part, I will explore how each city implements their programs, community involvement, and what the next steps should be!
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