The test, which all stems from the concept of how easily kids can find the front door to a house on Halloween and then move on to the next one, has been useful in getting a broader range of people thinking about how suburban house design relates to more livable, walkable streets. It helps make the case for building houses with rear garages instead of front, often off a lane, and having true front doors. Once the garage is moved, the door can be moved closer to the sidewalk. The lack of driveway curb cuts allow for street trees, uninterrupted sidewalks, on-street parking, and slower speeds for residential traffic, illustrating the ripple effects that suburban-style garages can have on the public realm, walkability, and yes, trick-or-treating…
Kids are often said to be an indicator species for great neighborhoods; Kids in costumes on Halloween night are an indicator species, too. In many suburbs, kids and families have given up on trick-or-treating in the traditional door-to-door sense. Trends like suburban shopping malls giving out candy, or even the “trick-or-trunk” trend where parking lots and candy-filled car trucks replace neighborhoods, can be pragmatic alternatives to un-walkable communities.
i miss trick-or-treating in my childhood neighborhood of elmwood in berkeley! if you’re in the bay, go check out russell st. and that whole area up to claremont!