Drastic Impact of a Cul-de-sac – By: Kristen Palardy

This reading has showed how necessary children are in the creation of a successful place. If a place is deemed safe and entertaining enough for children, then parents, siblings, grandparents, babysitters and their friends will also be drawn to the place. However, when children are taken out of the equation, there are less opportunities for communities to come together.

The neighborhood I grew up in was initially a connecting street for the towns’ main road. There were sidewalks, a small park, and many families with young children on my residential street, but there was rarely anyone outside on the road because of how busy it was; same as this text states “traffic is the principal impediment to their [children] use of city spaces” (228). The text also states how streets become more populated by finding ways to slow the vehicles (228). A few years after we moved into my childhood home, they decided to turn the one end of the street into a cul-de-sac, so it no longer connected to the towns’ busy main road. They also added several speed bumps and a median at the entrance to warn cars that it was now a dead end and they had to slow down or turn around. It was not long after that my parents felt safe letting us practice riding our bikes down to the cul-de-sac, which became the new hub for the kids of the neighborhood. It started to be used as the place for barbeques and other community events; and families who had lived next to each other for years changed from being acquaintances to friends.

As a child, the development of this place never really occurred to me until I considered how different my life would have been growing up if that street never changed. Even though I do not live there anymore, I still keep in contact with multiple friends and I even continue to babysit for one of the families. I enjoy knowing that I was one of the pioneer (of sorts) children that discovered the possibilities this neighborhood had once safety hazards were no longer of concern.

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