three dots …

Before the city could be physically reconstructed to accommodate automobiles, its streets had to be socially reconstructed as places where cars belong.
— From Fighting Traffic by Peter D. Norton, by way of A defense of jaywalking.

I am so interested in this. I really find it bonkers that most of the width of our streets is allotted for the zooming of large motorized vehicles, so that no one on foot can safely traverse it, except to cross from one side to the other as directed by lighted symbols.

Although the word street is often now synonymous with road, i.e. a travelling-way for vehicles, it obviously has not always been, since streets have existed for far longer than automobiles have. Streets used to be the province of people walking about, kids playing, streetcars trundling along, cyclists, horses, etc.: it turns out that all these did not cede the majority of the street to the automobile lightly.