Radical Rethinking of how to "Share the Road"

The division of transportation space and resources shows the privilege we put on automobile travel over other forms.  Historical campaigns redefined our streets as being for cars instead of people. On a typical street we devote 30 or more feet of right of way to car travel and storage; if we are lucky, we get a few feet thrown in for bikers and walkers. Our funding mechanisms place walkers at the greatest disadvantages-- our tax dollars maintain roads for drivers of automobiles, transit users and bike riders; sidewalks for walkers must be paid for and maintained by the individual property owners.

A four-part opinion Greater Greater Washington Series discusses some radical re-thinking of how walkers and cars could share the road. 

The evolution of roadways over the last century has progressively restricted movement on foot. Traffic engineers have had two goals: to speed automobile travel by getting pedestrians out of the way, and to prevent crashes by separating vehicles from pedestrians.

This approach has long since become obsolete. It’s not just that roads designed for fast driving aren’t good for city living. Even on its own terms, traditional traffic engineering fails. It doesn’t make streets safe. And it’s too complex and expensive to be fully implemented.

The poor suffer most from this failure. Declining suburbs, designed for travel by automobile alone, now house many who cannot afford a car. With sidewalks scarce and crosswalks rarely marked, travel on foot in full compliance with the law is a practical impossibility.
— Ben Ross, Greater Greater Washington