Sneckdowns: The Early Years

All photos: Michael King
Madison Avenue, in the year 2000. All photos: Michael King

Before there were hashtags and #sneckdowns, there was Michael King, taking pictures of residual snow on NYC street corners. A principal with Nelson\Nygaard, King is an architect by training and a pioneer of traffic calming street design in the United States. He captured these images to show how much asphalt can easily be claimed to make streets safer.

King says he used these photos for his own research and to make the case for curb extensions at NYC DOT, where he was named the agency’s first director of traffic calming in 1997. The Brooklyn photos were taken in the mid- to late-90s, and King says they may have influenced the Downtown Brooklyn Traffic Calming Project (which was in the works for years but implemented quite recently). The Central Park and Upper East Side photos are from 2000.

Enjoy, and get ready for more sneckdowns coming soon: The forecast calls for six inches of snow starting Sunday evening.

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The 96th Street Central Park transverse.
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The same transverse, sneckdownless. Look at those wide lanes — so much room to speed.

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Court Street and Congress Street.
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Hoyt and Dean.
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Clinton and Amity.

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