That's me and the little cutie is my daughter- soaking up the awesomeness of Aix. We all know that most European cities ooze charm, but on this visit, I figured out why. Here's a recipe for creating the most perfect and darling cities--start with the street.
Street design in Aix en Provence is simple, beautiful and safe. The stone curb clearly separates the street from the sidewalk and thin metal posts say "hey, just in case you didn't realize, no cars or motorcycles allowed on the sidewalk."
And the designs make so much sense. Check out the photo above. Two metal posts topped with white ornaments show exactly where one should cross this fairly wide street. They've added a cute triangular island, properly known as a pedestrian refuge, to shorten the crossing distance and added a familiar white stripped crosswalk.
What would it take to do that in Miami? Don't you think we could do this?
This street uses three posts AND a bumpy texture at the approach to this crosswalk. Couldn't we retrofit this to our sloping sidewalks?
Here's a novel idea--bus lanes for bus stops! These bus lanes are separated by a little island so there's no confusion. Car's keep out! Step off the bus with dignity and grace in Aix!
Coolest of cool are the different sidewalk zones that have been created with these subtle changes in elevation. Zone 1: sidewalk, zone 2: market tables, zone 3: street furniture and statues, zone 4: sidewalk along the street. So elegant.
On the same street bigger, concrete posts separate the moving cars and motorcycles from the uber elegant sidewalk.
And here they are again!
Taking in the beauty of it all! Wide sidewalks=room to breath. A line of street trees makes a cozy street. Here, parking is not compromised.
Folks, this is the final shot. Inspiring no? The beauty is that it's not so hard to pull off.