The 9th Most Influential Streetfilm of All-Time

With the 10-year benefit for Streetsblog and Streetfilms coming up on November 14 (get your tickets here!), we are counting down the 12 most influential Streetfilms of all time, as determined by the impresario himself, Clarence Eckerson Jr.

Snowy Neckdowns (a.k.a. “Sneckdowns”)

Number of plays: 52,349

Publish date: February 5, 2011

Why is it here? This Streetfilm started the #sneckdown craze and inspired planners and transportation geeks to go out and document how we’ve overbuilt streets for the movement of cars. The sneckdown concept provides a simple, compelling visual that has made the case for real changes in many cities (especially Philadelphia).

Fun fact: At first this film didn’t get a ton of attention. By the end of 2013 it had only racked up about 4,000 plays. But in the winter of 2014 I decided it might be fun to cajole people on Twitter to send in photos of snowy traffic calming in their city. When we were deciding on a hashtag to use, Streetsblog founding editor Aaron Naparstek brilliantly suggested #sneckdown. It clicked, the hashtag stuck, and submissions rolled in from all over the world. The media frenzy peaked in 2014 but social media still lights up with #sneckdown photos whenever there’s a big winter storm in the United States.

The Streetfilms Countdown so far:

#12: Lakewood, Ohio: The Suburb Where Everyone Can Walk to School

#11: Mark Gorton Interviews Enrique Peñalosa

#10: Zurich: Where People Are Welcome and Cars Are Not

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Sneckdowns: Taking the World by Storm

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The #sneckdown is now a phenomenon, with nature’s traffic-calming gaining international media coverage and photos popping up from across the U.S. and Canada. “The snow is almost like nature’s tracing paper,” Streetfilms’ Clarence Eckerson told the BBC. “It’s free. You don’t have to do a crazy expensive traffic calming study. It provides a visual cue […]

Who’s Up for Sneckdowns?

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With Blizzard Mania ’16 reaching a fever pitch up and down the Eastern Seaboard, it looks like we’re in for the first serious sneckdowns of the season. For the uninitiated, sneckdowns are neckdowns created by driving patterns in melting snow or slush. Sneckdowns highlight excess asphalt that could be repurposed for streetscape improvements to slow motor vehicle […]

Sneckdowns 4: Ain’t Snow Stoppin’ Us Now

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Since our last round-up, the sneckdown has drawn attention from publications as varied as The Economist, The Week, Fast Company, Village Voice, Atlantic Cities, and Treehugger. With coverage and photos piling up like so much traffic-calming slush, sneckdown emissary and archivist Clarence Eckerson posted a detailed explainer, dating the concept back to the 1990s. Meanwhile, the city […]

We’re Talkin’ Sneckdown

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New York City was spared the brunt of winter storm Juno, and with streets in better shape than expected, there are already enough photos out there for our inaugural #sneckdown round-up of the season. A portmanteau of “snow” and “neckdown,” a sneckdown occurs when driving patterns delineated in snow reveal excess street space that might be […]

Sneckdown Fever!

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With more than two feet of snow expected to accumulate on NYC streets in the next couple of days, this city is about to get blanketed by nature’s traffic calming. Sneckdown fever won’t be far behind. To get things started, we’re reposting the classic 2011 Streetfilm that introduced the phrase “snowy neckdown,” a concept that […]