09-11-23 | News

Street Wise

Reader's Digest Needs Lesson on Landscape Architects
by Staff

I was looking through the July issue of Reader's Digest and came across a story about a woman who was hit by a car and fortunately survived. The article went on to talk about building better streets, using traffic calming, and pedestrian and cycle friendly concepts pioneered and championed by landscape architects, with one notable exception . . . Evidently when researching this increasingly important subject, RD never crossed the path of a Landscape Architect . . . OMG!!!

In the meantime, I just got back from Boise, Idaho, where the downtown has been redeveloped over the past decade under the influence of Landscape Architects working with the city and with the primary
architectural firm.


Wide, one-way streets, with pedestrian crossings set away from the stopped traffic and well defined bike and scooter paths, mixed in with decorative amenities that unify the district's diverse population. Even many of the alleys are lit or have time worthy amenities, like the 100 yard long, "Freak Alley Gallery," pictured above.

It's clear that the downtown is both a source of entertainment for the region and a source of pride . . .
No litter, no graffiti, no needles and almost no homelessness . . . This too causes a safer pedestrian experience, safe enough for 10 passenger roving Bicycle-Bars, and drivers willing to wait for scooters, bike bars and wayward souls crossing the road, well past midnight. And, much of the credit goes to . . .
Landscape Architects . . . Who, by the way, are primaries in all the Streetscapes in this issue, and so many others across the nation.
How a magazine like Reader's Digest could write an entire feature on safe, people friendly streetscapes and never mention a landscape architect is beyond me, but yet another symptom of a profession in need of focused messaging, strong industry support and business-oriented leadership.

I personally sent a set of the past 10 LASN 'Streetscapes" issues to the RD Editor. It might be a good thing if they heard from you, too. Somebody needs to step up and defend this profession!

God Bless . . .
George Schmok, Publisher


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