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Low-Traffic Neighborhoods: Why They Get A Bad Rep

In a residential area, patrons should feel safe. They should have the freedom to let their guard down and go for a walk, run, or bike ride without having to worry about getting wiped out by a speeding car. While it seems like a no-brainer, some are not on board, creating a division between residents in some of the world’s most homely neighborhoods.


What’s a Low Traffic Neighborhood?

Much like it sounds, a low-traffic neighborhood (LTN) is one where traffic is not permitted. Cars can drive to it but cannot pass through it, having to take a walk to their houses. The idea behind the concept is to reduce traffic and make the streets safer to roam by foot or bike. You would think that all would be in favor but, that’s just the opposite. The idea of converting more neighborhoods into LTNs has caused neighbors to butt heads, striking up debates about the topic.


The Great LTN Debate

One of the most prominent arguments against LTNs everywhere is the fact that they trample on personal freedoms. Some neighbors love the idea of driving homes after a long day at work and parking in their garage without waving help to a single soul. Others bring up not having their car close enough and speak of the dangers of break-ins and car theft.  Some even went as far as to argue that blocking off neighborhoods increases pollution by causing traffic jams in and around residential areas.

Those who are for LTNs find these issues slightly egoistic, arguing that neighborhood streets should be for people, not for cars. Families with children are supporters of fewer cars, knowing that they can rest assured that their kids are not at risk of getting hit by a speeding car. Those that are in favor speak a lot about creating a cleaner and better tomorrow. They bring up cleaner air and promotion of alternative transportations for an overall healthier way of living.


Where Does It End?

While there is still a lot to go before more streets are converted to LTNs, the debates have brought out a side of people that sets others aback. Twitter feeds are blowing up with filthy language and outrageous comments, creating a vicious cyber battle between opposing sides. With blood boiling over, some residents in London took to the streets recently to protest the idea, adding more gas to the already flaming fire.

While politics are only one part of it all, their interference is perhaps the underlying catalyst of these heated disagreements. It doesn’t seem like such a big deal to reduce traffic through neighborhoods. However, for some, it’s an attack on human rights. London has several LTNs in place, advocating for more. Other counties have a few sprinkled across the country, with more popping up each year. Other countries with residential neighborhoods may follow suit but are less likely to do so if the debates continue as they are now. Who knew traffic could cause such an uproar? Don’t we all hate it?