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This brilliant illustration shows how much public space we've surrendered to cars

Most roads in the US are built for cars, not for pedestrians. Whether we're happy or unhappy with this, most of us are aware of it.

But this brilliant illustration, made by Swedish artist Karl Jilg and commissioned by the Swedish Road Administration, shows just how extreme the situation truly is — even in an urban business district that's designed with pedestrians in mind:

walking illustration

(Karl Jilg/Swedish Road Administration)

By depicting roads as chasms and crosswalks as rickety planks spanning them, Tingvall shows just how lopsided the the proportions of a normal urban street corner really are.

One particularly interesting thing is that, in many places, much of the space dedicated to cars doesn't actually get used by them. These photos, taken by Jon Geeting of the Philadelphia blog This Old City, show how a snowstorm reveals the many parts of Philly streets that aren't traversed by cars regularly:

snow tracks

(Jon Geeting/This Old City)


Correction: This piece previously stated the illustration was made by Claes Tingvall, not Karl Jilg.

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