Urbanist Toolkit Bracket Challenge: Championship Round

This one's for all the marbles.

NB: This round has already been decided -- check out the results here!

It's all come down to this. Two early favorites, together responsible for about a quarter of the bracket winners, face off in our championship match.

The Pedestrian Street easily trumped the Waterfront Promenade, 69-31, to advance to the finals. On the left side of the bracket, Bike Lanes sent congestion pricing back to the theoretical realm, 60-40, in a match-up that many people found particularly aggravating, for reasons that commenter Quinn Raymond elucidated at the very start of the bracket challenge: "The final question is basically, 'Would you rather stab yourself in the face or the chest?'"

(Confused? Check out the Final Four, the Elite Eight, the Sweet Sixteen, or the initial post for more info on the entries.)

That's the nature of an elimination tournament: two urban design features enter, one urban design feature emerges victorious. The concept so rankled one reader that he developed an intricate system of "power ratings," over at his Dallas-Fort Worth walkability blog, to supplement what he disparagingly referred to as a popularity contest. (It is irrefutably that.) With metrics like "Value Created," "Costs Associated," "Net Linear Weighting," and "Net Exponential Weighting," he concluded that a highway tear-out would be preferable to all 32 of our entries.

Certainly food for thought. At the moment we have a choice between Bike Lanes and Pedestrian Street.

As always, here's your updated bracket (click through to download).

And the final round of standings:

Name Round of 32 Sweet 16 Elite Eight Final Four Total
Alex Dodds 15 7 3 2 57
Sean Kane 12 7 3 2 54
Sara Hastings-Simon 14 6 3 2 54
Greg Burrell 14 6 3 2 54
Joey Sandmann 14 8 4 1 54


One or a few of these people will be going home with the proverbial trophy. Only 32 of the 100+ brackets are still in play, and of those, 19 chose bike lanes and 13 chose pedestrian street to win it all.

Instead of reviewing various arguments in favor of either bike lanes or pedestrian streets, we thought we might instead run through a few images to jump-start your imaginations.

Pedestrian street in Brasov, Romania. Flickr/Sludggulper.
Bike lane in Vancouver, Canada. Flickr/Paul Kreuger.

Flickr/La Citta Vita.

Pedestrian street, Santa Monica, California.

Flickr/Payton Chung.

Bike lane, New York, New York.

Pedestrian Street, Charlottesville, Virginia. Flickr/Joe Architect.

Flickr/Comrade Foot.

Bike lane, Copenhagen, Denmark.

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About the Author

  • Henry Grabar is a freelance writer and a former fellow at CityLab. He lives in New York.