A timely and interesting story about Trick or Treating and neighborhoods.
Springfield passes the test, btw.
Why the "Trick of Treat Test" Still Matters
Once a year at Halloween, community designers and urbanists conjure up the "the trick-or-treat test" (guilty as charged) as a way into sparking discussion about where we live and how our communities are designed.
The test, which all stems from the concept of how easily kids can find the front door to a house on Halloween and then move on to the next one, has been useful in getting a broader range of people thinking about how suburban house design relates to more livable, walkable streets. It helps make the case for building houses with rear garages instead of front, often off a lane, and having true front doors. Once the garage is moved, the door can be moved closer to the sidewalk. The lack of driveway curb cuts allow for street trees, uninterrupted sidewalks, on-street parking, and slower speeds for residential traffic, illustrating the ripple effects that suburban-style garages can have on the public realm, walkability, and yes, trick-or-treating.
When it comes to candy-collecting efficiency, kids are very smart, and read communities well. They know the streets where the doors are close together and well-lit, what I call "Halloween Door Density."
Parents are smart, too. They recognize neighborhoods designed to be safe for walkers when they see them: Tree-lined streets; enough density and community completeness to activate what I call "the power of nearness"; good visual surveillance through doors, windows (and I don't mean windows in garages), porches and "eyes on the street"; connected, legible streets that let you “read” the neighborhood easily. All of these are great for walkable, healthy, economically resilient communities year-round.
Kids are often said to be an indicator species for great neighborhoods; Kids in costumes on Halloween night are an indicator species, too. In many suburbs, kids and families have given up on trick-or-treating in the traditional door-to-door sense. Trends like suburban shopping malls giving out candy, or even the "trick-or-trunk" trend where parking lots and candy-filled car trucks replace neighborhoods, can be pragmatic alternatives to un-walkable communities.
Full story at http://www.theatlanticcities.com/housin ... ters/3743/