The Power of Art

…to reduce traffic speeds.

In Sunday’s (December 10th) New York Times Magazine there was an article about the best ideas of 2006. One of them caught my attention.

The city of Cambridge, Massachusetts commissioned an art work with an unusual goal: reducing traffic speeds. The objective was to reduce average speeds from 30 miles per hour to 25 miles per hour. According to Susanne Rasmussen of the Cambridge Community Development Department, “The chance that a pedestrian would survive an accident is vastly greater at that speed”.

Sound familiar? Yes, the Mayor’s Task Force (for over ten years), the NDDC (for over six years) and RENew Northfield (for over a year) have been trying to reduce traffic speeds on the downtown section of Highway 3 from 30 miles an hour to increase pedestrian safety.

Of course, one of our local geniuses, Jim Pokorney, suggested long ago that art could help slow down traffic speeds.