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Database Provider

Author

Not Just Bikes

Grades

8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th

Subjects

Social Studies, Geography, Engineering

Regional Focus

North America, United States, Europe

Format

YouTube Video

The Ugly, Dangerous, and Inefficient Stroads Found All Over the US & Canada

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Synopsis
  • This video shows how the popular North American street-road model is dangerous, expensive, unattractive, and inefficient. 
  • Students will learn how the Netherlands prioritized better transportation and decreased car travel by eliminating "stroads."
Teaching Tips

Positives

  • The video contains labeled segments that make it easy to jump to a specific part of the video.
  • Students will learn the difference between a road (which is designed for fast, efficient travel) and a street (which provides motorists and pedestrians access to buildings and businesses).

Additional Prerequisites

  • The video contains advertisements at the beginning and intermittently throughout.
  • This video is the fifth in a series, but it can be viewed independently.

Differentiation

  • Geography or social studies classes could use this video to discuss why the Netherlands decided to prioritize changes to their transportation infrastructure. The following questions could inspire further discussion:
    • What would it take to change an entire system of transportation? (infrastructure, laws, buy-in from the public, etc.)
    • What kinds of advantages does a country like the Netherlands have that allows them to make sweeping infrastructure changes?
    • Would you like to live in a community with stroads? Why or why not?
  • Civics or government classes could examine what kinds of local laws, policies, or regulations could promote better transportation.
  • Economics classes could examine the claim made in the video that parking lot-heavy stroad infrastructure is detrimental to economic growth.
  • Science and design classes could research how impermeable surfaces lead to poor drainage and problems with flooding.
  • Other resources on this topic include this interactive map that shows cities in the United States that have eliminated parking mandates, this Grist video on reimagining shopping malls, and this video about a program in New York City to develop better bike lanes.
Scientist Notes
The resource underscores the difference between street, road, and "stroad" networks and how "stroads" can be converted to improve traffic safety and reduce congestion in urban areas. This resource is insightful and recommended for teaching.
Standards
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Civics
      • D2.Civ.12.6-8 Assess specific rules and laws (both actual and proposed) as means of addressing public problems.
    • Dimension 2: Geography
      • D2.Geo.4.6-8 Explain how cultural patterns and economic decisions influence environments and the daily lives of people in both nearby and distant places.
      • D2.Geo.5.6-8 Analyze the combinations of cultural and environmental characteristics that make places both similar to and different from other places.
      • D2.Geo.6.9-12 Evaluate the impact of human settlement activities on the environmental and cultural characteristics of specific places and regions.
      • D2.Geo.8.9-12 Evaluate the impact of economic activities and political decisions on spatial patterns within and among urban, suburban, and rural regions.
    • Dimension 3: Developing Claims and Using Evidence
      • D3.4.6-8 Develop claims and counterclaims while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both.
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