New Urbanist Cul-de-sac: an ideal match

New Urbanist, Walkable Cul-de-sac

This 650-foot cul-de-sac has all the characteristics of an ideal New Urbanist street: compact, harmonious, well proportioned, on a grid, fully connected and walkable.

Built in the 50s, it features large, two storey, well-crafted homes with one or two-storey porches, a must-have feature of a NU street. The houses are set close to the street and there are no front garages. It is fairly compact and its front yards feature mature trees.  Set on a grid, its open end meets a main street which has numerous amenities as well as frequent transit service. The closed end abuts a main collector but is buffered from it by a small, linear, landscaped swath  that includes a walkway and bikeway.  Pedestrians have complete freedom and connectivity in both directions.  With all its “urban” features this is an ideal, practical example for a cul-de-sac in a walkable New Urbanist Neighbourhood.

This configuration also suggests the merits of the Fused Grid as model for structuring neighbourhoods: fully connected for pedestrians but only partly permeable to cars and supplemented by the presence of green space and pathways. Because of its openness, it invites more compact lot and building arrangements; a very urban but contemporary pattern.

Two blocks west of the above cul-de-sac there is an identical dead-end street. On the left corner the original semi-detached house has been turned into a wedding gown store amplifying the commercial character of the main street. On the right hand side, a car dealership and repair shop have taken hold reinforcing the mixed use nature of the street.

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