Snow is on it’s way, let’s make the most of it

‘Sneckdown’ is a mash-up of “snowy” and “neckdown”. ‘Neckdown’ is urban planning jargon for a curb extension, where the road is narrowed , usually at an intersection or a pedestrian crossing. The snow part of sneckdown comes from the way snow on the ground shows where the road is—and isn’t—used. Whenever you see a snowbank on the road, imagine a curb extension in its place. These snowy curb extensions are extra space, which could be re-purposed for all sorts of things: sidewalks, plazas, greenery, bike infrastructure, you name it!

Here’s a quick video from the fine folks at Streetfilms that explains the phenomenon with visuals:

If you spot a sneckdown, you can send me your photos on TwitterFacebook, Reddit or shoot me an email at 

How to Shoot a Sneckdown

Today is a great day to shoot a sneckdown! Here’s a few tips to get the best shot.

  1. Make sure the snow has been on the ground for a while. The longer a sneckdown sticks around for, the more meningful it is.
  2. Get the widest angle you can. Back up until you can see both sides of the street. If your camera/phone has a panorama mode, use it. It’s ok if the photo is too big—you can always crop it later.

This is good:


This is better:


  1. Take a couple of photos from different angles. This makes it easier to visualize the shape and position of the sneckdown.


That’s it! Now grab your camera/phone, get snapping, and send your photos via email at or twitter @sneckdownyyc


One thought on “Snow is on it’s way, let’s make the most of it

  1. I’m a bit skeptical. I think it’s important to consider all factors in the design of roads and intersections, and this approach might lead to other important considerations being ignored.

    Consider this example from Chicago:

    The implication is that where the snow is, somethine else could be placed there. The thing that’s forgotten is that in this particular case, the snow has been PILED there by snow removal equipment. If something other than pavement was there before the snowfall, then where would crews pile the snow? The road would surely become too narrow. My point is that in this part of the world, planners must build extra space in to roadways for snow in the winter, and for drainage during rainstorms in the summer. It’s foolish to ignore these factors.

    There is another reason for extra space on roadways: When an accident occurs, traffic usually backs up quickly. If we clutter our roadways, that will lead to cases where emergency vehicles will be blocked by traffic and unable to respond in a timely fashion.

    The idea of using snow to plan is not totally without merit, but it’s very important to include worst-case scenarios in road planning – not just ideal scenarios.


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