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Streets are tricky complicated spaces because of all the different ways they can used. With the imbalance between those uses and their unforgiving nature, they can be uncomfortable places too. Yet growing up understanding how they work is critical to getting around independently. While we await the dream of complete streets for all ages and abilities, traffic gardens help children figure out and practice the ways we navigate and use streets, intersections and the transportation network.
There is something about whole body movement while having imaginative fun that makes traffic gardens an effective tool for bike and safety education programs. By engaging in their planning and design too, children think about how communities are put together and the complete streets vision. We believe that traffic gardens provide a valuable set of learning tools for young people that help them more safely navigating public streets as well as learn about engaging in seeking better street design.