The image of the suburban cul-de-sac isn’t complete without a serene setting of large houses, emerald green grass lawns and a young child riding a tricycle out front.
The cul-de-sac, it seems, is the most iconic of suburban essentials.
But according to new research by Lawrence Frank, a professor who studies sustainable transportation at the University of British Columbia, cul-de-sacs are killing communities.
Studying neighborhoods in King County, Washington, Frank found that residents in areas with the most interconnected streets travel 26 percent fewer vehicle miles than those in areas with many cul-de-sacs.
Moreover, as a neighborhood’s overall walkability increases — that is, resembles more of an interconnected grid, rather than a series of dead-ends — so does the amount of walking and biking. In fact, air pollution and body mass index decrease on a per capita basis.
Cul-de-sacs is a dead end. There’s no walkable access to the neighborhood, unless you are looking for specific home in that hood.
If you live in cul-de-sacs: what do you like the most and least living there?