Snow storms tend to be a pain for drivers, but they serve one big public service: showing which parts of the road aren’t being used by cars and could therefore be repurposed to improve a city’s quality of life. Transportation nerds refer to traffic-calming patches of snow as “sneckdowns” and use them as arguments for redesigning unnecessarily wide streets. After all, if drivers only need a narrow portion of each road to drive in a snowstorm, couldn’t they make do with that narrow portion the rest of the time? We love this visualization by Latvian architect and urbanist Oto Ozols imagining how most of the space in a major intersection in Riga could be put to use — with bike lanes, benches, trees and safe spaces for pedestrians.
The caption, translated:
The intersection of Avotu, Asara and Lienes Streets is currently dangerous for pedestrians and difficult to understand for drivers, but could be the central square of Grizinkalns neighborhood. Snow shows very clearly that the junction is being used inefficiently, too much space is given to the transport.
[Via Doug Gordon]