“Sneckdowns” Reveal Street Space Cars Don’t Use

Every time it snows, vast sections of city streets remain covered by snow long after plows and moving cars have cleared the travel lanes. These leftover spaces are called “sneckdowns,” and they show where sidewalks or medians could replace roads without much loss to car drivers.

Photo by Anne G on flickr.

The term sneckdown is a portmanteau of “snow” and “neckdown,” the latter being another term for sidewalk curb extensions. So it literally means a sidewalk extension created by snow.

New York’s biggest urbanist blog, Streetsblog, put out a call for photos of sneckdowns in the wild earlier this winter. They’ve received plenty of responses.

Be on the lookout for these as winter continues to roll along.

By | 2016-12-27T20:59:58+00:00 February 3, 2014|Categories: Motor Vehicles, Pedestrians, Transportation, Urban Design, Walkability|Tags: |5 Comments


  1. Bruce February 4, 2014 at 11:17 am

    Great place for raised planters to add a spot of life to each corner!!

  2. mckillio February 4, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    Also known as curb extensions, bulbouts, popouts; these are great for multiple reasons, they slow down cars, give pedestrians better visibility of cars and vice versa, and give pedestrians a shorter distance when crossing the street, again increasing their safety.

    It is important to remember that these have (almost) no benefit to cars and probably the biggest detriment is that it prevents cars from squeezing in and turning right (or left on one ways). It does however prevent people from illegally parking too close to the intersection (which they weren’t supposed to be doing anyways) increasing the visibility of other cars turning. That also clears up any ambiguity as to how far up you can park. These can really only be used on streets with on street parking as well.

    Having said that, these should only be placed in denser areas with a large amount of pedestrians. One of the things that I really like about these is that provides the opportunity for art, plants, etc. to be placed on them and really liven up a neighborhood. I would love to see them at 11th and Ogden, 7th and Logan and multiple places in Uptown off of the top of my head.

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  4. […] “Sneckdowns” reveal street space cars don’t use. […]

  5. keen observer February 7, 2014 at 11:22 am

    There is a fire hydrant there. That is why there is not a car parked there. The car that is parked next to this “leftover space” has snow on it too. They may have dove straight into their spot, and not had to parallel park. This reduces congestion if people can get into their parking spots quicker.

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