Arterial street amenity has long been the highest traffic priority for municipalities, and was second only to funding in a report based on a survey of 60 Mayors and 60 City Engineers. It has been neglected, is poor and deteriorating, Visual blight has forced demolition of raised grade separations. The figure shows a controversial rail project, popular with the travelling public, but local residents needed to be bought out.
Noise levels on arterial streets often exceed criteria set for freeways, but there are no remedial options offered and set-backs are not practical. Air pollution, including fumes and particulates, is often at levels that impact health, again with no practical response. There are some ingrained, expedient, but unsafe practices, such as high speed, and mixing of cars with pedestrians and cyclists. Planning is anti-social and allocates the highest density living to the most degraded streets, so excessive car traffic and speed means that children can no longer play in the street. Space requirements for car parking is substantial. Errant vehicles are a constant threat to life and property.
Requirements to reduce car traffic are described under safety.
To satisfy amenity requires: acceptable appearance; quiet traffic; and low emissions. This means slender track that is ~10m above the ground, as proposed by Metrino, mounted on poles, to permit street trees underneath and the stop design must be acceptable. The benchmark for noise is the Prius. The benchmark for emissions is electric power with steel wheels.