Charles Marohn – he of Strong Towns – coined the term stroad to describe the street-road hybrid, something that does neither job very well. Or as he says in the current issue of Better! Cities and Towns:
The STROAD design is the futon of transportation alternatives. Where a futon is a piece of furniture that serves both as an uncomfortable couch and an uncomfortable bed, a STROAD moves cars at speeds too slow to get around efficiently but too fast to support productive private sector investment. The result is an expensive highway and a declining tax base.
He targets, in particular, the state (or provincial) highway that cuts through our small towns and cities, like Harvey Avenue through Kelowna:
The single piece of public infrastructure doing the most damage to the value of the neighborhood we are studying is the state highway. Its design is sucking the value out of the entire place. Like most highways, the design through this urban neighborhood is indistinguishable from the design used on the open road outside of town. This helps the engineers at the DOT to theoretically meet their mandate — move as many cars as possible as quickly as possible — but does little to create a platform for creating, let alone retaining, real financial value.
What to do? Marohn advocates shared space – something unlikely to be approved for Harvey, but just might be the ticket for the streets to the north, including Bernard, the traditional high street of this Okanagan ciy: