Cities are, in general, better places to live. People who live in cities have higher rates of employment, higher wages, and access to better services at lower costs. Housing is generally the one exception to this “lower cost” trend because there’s only so much land within a city, but that crowdedness is contributing to a trend that might make cities safer.
More people in cities means there is less space for freight vehicles (tight streets like those in Seattle’s Capitol Hill or Ballard neighborhood).
To navigate crowded urban areas more companies are buying smaller trucks or, as the Atlantic’s City Fixer page calls them, “European” style trucks to haul their goods.
How Freight Weight Makes an Impact
Why do these trucks make cities safer?
These trucks can navigate streets far better than semis, allowing pedestrians to cross streets unharmed.
Embracing city-efficient trucks allows intersections and crosswalks to serve their original purpose: letting human beings get on with their lives.
There are no striking legal implications from this trend—large companies are shrinking their freight vehicles to avoid damages, and small business are growing into light commercial vehicles because they’re outgrowing using station wagons to deliver their goods—but what’s really exciting is that this is the sort of thing that gives drivers more spatial awareness of their trucks.
Cities (Chicago has already started) could actually change their future guidelines so that streets are explicitly designed for smaller freight vehicles. This could prevent injuries to pedestrians, and that’s great news, especially around the holidays.