For decades, we have been building transportation through communities, rather than creating communities through transportation. Streets designed only to move cars can work so much harder. They can certainly carry more people by more modes of transportation—but they can also become great places in their own right.
The traditional Main Street is one of the most iconic images of America. With its unique blend of housing, retail, and civic uses, Main Street served as the social and commercial hub of communities until World War II. Since then, suburban development favoring shopping malls and single-use zoning have driven resources away from these vital places. Thankfully, today various organizations and communities are working to restore the historic functions of main streets and reestablish them as the centers of towns and cities.