Rebecca Bernard
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Cul-de-sacs Might Kill You

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adam ruins everything cul-de-sac

Before I moved out of my family home, I lived my whole life on cul-de-sacs. My parents appreciated them because they were quieter streets, away from the traffic and speeding buses in the neighborhoods of my childhood. I quite vividly remember riding my bike on the asphalt in big, seemingly endless loops. According to Adam Conover and the team at Adam Ruins Everything, it is possible that I was actually in more danger on those streets than anywhere else in our city.

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While parents often associate the calm of courts and cul-de-sacs with safety, studies have actually shown that the quietness lulls resident into a sense of security, causing the streets, driveways and sidewalks to “blend together.” Conover cited a Forbes article in early 2012 that actually verified that this complacency causes a 270% jump in road fatalities on cul-de-sacs compared to grid streets.

Later in the clip, Conover went on to say that cul-de-sacs are even worse when you consider what they do to city planning. Grid streets make getting from place to place much easier and direct, which encourages walking instead of getting behind the wheel. Neighborhoods with cul-de-sacs use winding roads to accommodate these shapes, which makes getting out of a neighborhood and to amenities or work on foot nearly impossible. The reliance on cars that comes with the spread of non-grid suburbs has led to longer commute times, which we all know are not good for you.

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Take a look at the segment from the show below to see how cul-de-sacs and urban sprawl are hurting all of us for yourself.

We’re not saying that you should avoid living on cul-de-sacs, just remember to treat the road in front of your house the same way you would any other street.