Banning Alcohol Consumption and Walkability

Background Reading


A blogger from the Beverly Neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side struggles with issues that are currently plaguing the City of Naperville. Towns in his area have had outright bans on alcohol. Naperville is also considering what to do when you want your town to be financially prosperous, trendy and walkable and yet not look and feel like Spring Break all year long.


Cyclists are overrepresented in the demographic most likely to be found wandering the streets of a town with a full skin of wine or beer under their belts.

What makes this a problem is that they are ones most likely to be sounding the alarm for Vision Zero and Walkability. On the one hand Vision Zero is an impossible goal which if even to be skirted will mean removing those things from our arsenal of bad habits that make reckless traffic accidents a likelihood. Alcohol and distracted driving are at the top of the list.

But for a town to be truly walkable it means that there must be shops and restaurants where people can meet up and enjoy good food, conversation and of course alcohol. So you have to decide which is more important. I put it this way because never in the history of the world have people been able to drink alcohol and still do so responsibly.

The problem is that the drug itself reduces inhibitions (that is after all why it is part of the dating ritual) and that simple fact means that reckless behavior is encouraged in drinkers.

So we will have to muddle through ‘trying to have our cake and eat it too‘. At some point we will have to decide what to do. Because remember that for every restaurant or eatery there are likely to be people who are walking, driving or bicycling home. They will be intoxicated. They will likely collide with each other.

So long Vision Zero.