Streets and roads comprise the largest part of the region’s public spaces. And over the last century, they have been dominated by the private automobile. Instead of cars, however, people, bikes, and public transit should be given priority on the streets of cities and major downtowns. Even in suburban areas, roads should be designed to accommodate a range of users. On-street transit systems should be recalibrated and expanded to better serve more communities. Highways should be better managed to reduce congestion and increase reliability and, in some urban neighborhoods, highways should even be removed, buried, or decked over to reconnect divided communities burdened by traffic and pollution.
Advances in technology provide new ways to manage streets and roads, and improve mobility. On-demand vehicle services can extend the reach of the public transportation network in lower-density communities. In the city, technology-enabled services such as ridesharing and, soon, driverless vehicles, could result in streets with less parking and more space for transit, walking, and biking. And throughout the region, variable road tolls could help reduce congestion and generate much needed revenues for infrastructure upkeep and improvements.