Yesterday in the New York Times was a fantastic article on street environments
The article briefly describes two opposite attitudes towards the street,in regards to vehicular and pedestrian activities. The New York Times describes that, "while American cities are synchronizing green lights to improve traffic flow and offering apps to help drivers find parking, many European cities are doing the opposite: creating environments openly hostile to cars. The methods vary, but the mission is clear — to make car use expensive and just plain miserable enough to tilt drivers toward more environmentally friendly modes of transportation."
Overall a nice article, and an excellent point of departure for further discussion. Judging by the comments section of the New York Times online edition, the debate between the rights of vehicular versus pedestrian usage is indeed passionate.