If you’re a public space aficionado or transportation maven, one only needs to sign on to one of the various social media feeds to see the daily movement that is sweeping across the world: groups of people are literally taking back their streets by implementing low-cost, temporary solutions to what they see as simple ways of making their streets safer or more livable.
In many cities, people have started placing traffic cones at intersections to slow turning vehicles and make drivers behave more predictably when they interact with bikes and pedestrians. In fact, many citizens have formed Twitter groups generally referred to as Departments of Transformation (DOTr) as opposed to the traditional city Department of Transportations (DOTs). These groups are showing their fellow citizens innovative visual solutions to make safer streets with quick strike executions – which sometimes only last a few hours until they are removed by their government. But each week more empowered people are deciding they are fed up and joining the movement and not waiting for their agencies to act.
Over the years, this sort of inexpensive, rapid-deployment has been known by various terms, but since around 2010 the term Tactical Urbanism has gained a lot of traction in the transportation community. And not only are we seeing some cities starting to responding positively and making some of these citizen resolutions permanent, but even outright sponsoring and sanctioning their own. So sit back and watch as we visit just a small fraction of the community making this happen!