When I first saw this traffic garden for children in Utrecht, Netherlands, I couldn't help but wonder why these aren't used absolutely everywhere. I had never thought about that concept before, but now that I've seen it, it seems so obviously right that I'm hoping they'll spread around the world quickly. The general idea is to bring primary-school age children in a little controlled area where they can learn about road safety from the point of view of pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers (they have great little pedal-powered cars!).
It seems like the perfect age to start teaching road safety too. At that age they can walk and bike, so they should know the rules, but there's also a better chance that what they learn will be incorporated into their habits than if the learn it much later during the rebellious phase of adolescence, when they get their driver's licenses.
I also think that if we had those around here, more people would bike because they would be introduced to it in a safe environment that isn't intimidating. Our cities would still need safe bike lanes and such, but at least everybody would know how to use them properly (including drivers, who would have felt what it is to be in a cyclist's shoes).
Here's a photo from the construction of the traffic garden:
To see the traffic garden in action, check out the video below, made by our friends over at Streetfilms: