The New York Times has named Virginia’s cul-de-sac ban one of their design ideas of the year for 2009. We agree! While cul-de-sac neighbornoods are perceived as safer, they force cyclists and pedestrians onto busy arterial roads, and make trips within the neighborhood much longer — undoubtedly contributing to the decline in biking and walking over the last 30 years. We’re very pleased that Virginia is taking the lead with this issue.
Where cul-de-sacs already exist, cut-through paths can greatly improve bike and pedestrian connectivity.
Note that bicycle highways was also named as an idea of the year. We’re pleased with that, too!
Update: Tom Bowden’s editorial explains why rethinking the cul-de-sac is such a good idea.