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Strong Town Principles in a Rural Environment



  • Official comment
    Charles Marohn

    Hi Pam. About a decade ago, I wrote a piece trying to get at this exact thing (Roads, Streets, Stroads, and Park Roads). 

    Engineers tend to hate this, but the federal park road standards are legit standards that allow for the preservation of the kind of views and amenities that you are asking for. In other words, think of your rural road as a park road instead of as a junior thoroughfare. 

    Here's a link to the standards on the Federal Highway Administration's website.

    If they don't like these standards, have them explain why. It's not going to be a safety reason -- the federal government uses these in state parks and they generally have lower fatality rates than your standard rural roadway -- and so it will likely be a functional reason (traffic too slow, limits on mobility, etc...) Point out that those are value decisions, not safety decisions, and as such elected officials should make that decision.

    I wish you luck. Let us know what happens.

  • Pam Burke

    Thank you very much!  It looks like just what we need to keep safe what will only be made less safe by "improvements".  Looking forward to reading it all.



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