Stroads - Core Insights

John Pattison
John Pattison

"Stroad" is a word we coined in 2013 to explain those dangerous, multi-laned thoroughfares you encounter in nearly every city, town, and suburb in America. They're what happens when a street (a place where people interact with businesses and residences, and where wealth is produced) gets combined with a road (a high-speed route between productive places). 

By trying to do two things at once, it does neither well, and Strong Towns president Chuck Marohn has described the stroad as “the futon of transportation”:

Where a futon is an uncomfortable couch that also serves as an uncomfortable bed, a stroad is an auto corridor that does not move cars efficiently while simultaneously providing little in the way of value capture. Anytime youare driving between 30 and 50 miles per hour, you are likely on a stroad, which has become the default option for American traffic corridors.

Stroads are enormously expensive to build and, ultimately, financially unproductive. They're also very dangerous.


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