Are you a lead foot or a careful driver? Do you boldly cross the street, or do you timidly wait and make eye contact with drivers? When there’s no bike lane, do you confidently take the car lane, or the sidewalk?

No judgement, unless you’re the lead foot.

In my last piece, I applied the lens of user interface design and user experience to something most people do every single day: walking, riding, or driving down the street.

Take a walk or ride your bike in an American city or suburb. Whether on two feet or two wheels, you’ll soon realize the streets weren’t designed for you. Narrow sidewalks, some with signs and telephone poles in your path. Where any bike lanes exist, most are only painted on, sandwiching you between speeding drivers and parallel parked cars. You play Russian roulette and hope you don’t get doored.

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A rideshare driver stopped in a bike lane in Chicago, while a young woman decides how to navigate around.

It’s so common you don’t think about it. We accept car-centric streets as a fact of life. When there’s a conflict with someone else on the road, we channel anger at the person. What about the way the streets themselves are built that allowed the behavior? What about the people and organizations who designed and built the street? …

Lately I’ve taken up a new hobby; building little street vignettes out of virtual LEGO® bricks, and using them to tell stories. I want to explore how using LEGO bricks can help us re-imagine safer streets in a fun, accessible, and shareable way.

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Whether rockin’ your hawk, your space ray-gun, or bringing your UCS Millennium Falcon home on your sweet cargo bike, everyone gets around safer, more comfortable, and happier when there’s a protected bike lane network. 🤘🚀🧱🐶 Credit to Sean Kenney for the cargo bike design.

Between 2011 and 2018 I worked for the LEGO Group, which took me on over 35 trips to Denmark. There I fell in love with Danish urbanism, cycling, infrastructure, and how their society prioritized peoples’ safety and comfort in creating walkable, bikeable spaces along with ample, reliable public transportation. …

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