Sometimes we become so accustomed to our surroundings that we just accept the status quo, no matter how terrible.
Street design is a good example. The streets of Dallas, for example, are a prime example: Too often they’re dangerous, unfriendly and just plain ugly. Crossing one of our high-speed avenues on foot can be like playing the old arcade game Frogger, but with real life-or-death stakes.
But a new online game, Streetmix, (streetmix.net) can help you imagine a better alternative, and it’s as addictive as any first-person shooter. The program makes you a transportation planner, with the power to design a street — make one up or pick your own. Bike lanes, wide sidewalks, two-way traffic? Add them all. Building a virtual Dallas is fun, and it just might help us shake the idea that we’re stuck with what we’re stuck with.