By Eugene Van Cleef and G. Chandler (Auth.)
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The elements of concern in any design are primarily three in number, namely, effectiveness of finding our way around, safety, and esthetic possibilities. Unfortunately, in cities al ready built there is not much we can do about changing the design if the current one is not entirely satisfactory. Streets, generally, must remain as they are. In some instances a change can be made locally, but not in the overall pattern. Cities have brought about a few exceptional adjustments, such as the Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia or Constitution Plaza in Hartford, Connecticut, or the ring around Boston.
For example, to quote only one such formula from a street guide: "To find the nearest street to 431 Madison Avenue, first cancel the last figure. The remainder is 43. Then divide by 2 and you have 2 1 ^ . " This last clause means, between 47th and 48th streets. A simple numbering system means a dollars and cents savings to all the people. It is especially important to business firms that deliver parcels or render door-to-door services of any nature. A decimal system enables delivery men to learn where places are in a minimum of time.
Studies of profiles along the streets of New York City and other large centers could have saved taxpayers much money 44 CITIES IN ACTION and helped avoid costly mistakes. One such case is that of the erection of skyscrapers so high and numerous that the streets between them became too narrow to allow adequate sunshine and fresh air to reach lower floors. This led to an ordinance which provided for set-backs at given levels and influenced the introduction of the straight-line and pyramidal building.