Cities were laid out in interconnected grids for hundreds, even thousands, of years, and everything was good. Then cars came along, city planners got cute, and everything got messed up.
CityLab reports that cul-de-sac communities, which came to be the norm in many U.S. towns and suburbs over the last 70 years, make us drive more, make us less safe, and keep us disconnected from one another.
Two researchers studied 24 medium-sized California cities and found that drivers are less cautious when driving in cul-de-sac communities.
“A lot of people feel that they want to live in a cul-de-sac, they feel like it’s a safer place to be,” says Wesley Marshall, an assistant professor of civil engineering at the University of Colorado. “The reality is yes, you’re safer – if you never leave your cul-de-sac. But if you actually move around town like a normal person, your town as a whole is much more dangerous.”