What should we call a Leafy Neckdown? (Survey)

leafy neckdown
© Dave Meslin via Facebook

The leaves are falling and presenting a new opportunity for tactical urbanism.

Tactical Urbanism has been defined as “the principle that citizens can undertake direct low-cost, high-reward actions that immediately improve some aspect of a community's public life and demonstrate to city leaders that there are opportunities for easy, successful changes to the status quo." One common technique we have discussed in the past is the "sneckdown", Aaron Naparstek's portmanteau of snowy and neckdown, where one looks at patterns in the snow to learn how much room cars really need and how much road space can be returned to pedestrians or other uses.

But snow isn't the only indicator. In Toronto, activist Dave Meslin and his neighbors used leaves to change a sloppy T- intersection that happens to be three minutes from where I live. He describes it on Facebook:

Last week I got together with some neighbors and we temporarily re-designed a dangerous intersection near our homes. Using only chalk and leaves (and maintaining all existing road widths at 28 feet) we revealed a surplus surface area of 2,000 square feet which could be transformed into a parkette, new sidewalks, and much shorter/safer crossings.

fantasy version© Dave Meslin via Facebook

He then sketched up a fantasy version.

cyclist in leafy neckdownLloyd Alter/CC BY 2.0

I just ran over to take a photo but alas, leaves are really transient. Nothing there but a white line which a cyclist shockingly just ignored.

I wondered what one should call this, given that it is not exactly a sneckdown, and asked the New York gang. Clarence Eckerson Jr. was the first to respond:


UPDATE: Mike Lydon, who literally wrote the book on tactical urbansim, had the same question earlier than I did:

Dave Meslin had another option, but I miss the Neckdown part.

It turns out this is a serious linguistics issue across North America.

Sneckdown Los Angeles also tells us that they have #palmfroneckdowns. What do you think it should be called?


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