Moving America Forward

Bicyclists Get a Safe Space to Learn Traffic Laws, Fixing a Broken Ballot System and More

October 14, 2016
Bicyclists Get a Safe Space to Learn Traffic Laws, Fixing a Broken Ballot System and More
Cities like Seattle have started to use local parks as "traffic gardens," giving kids a safe space to learn traffic laws. Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images
Take a break from the regular news cycle and check out these NationSwell must-reads, which uncover solutions that are moving America forward.


White Center Bike Park pleases many ‘spokes people,’ West Seattle Herald
It’s practically an American tradition: Dad takes his child to an empty parking lot to learn to drive a car. Why don’t we have the same for biking? In cyclist-friendly Seattle, a new “traffic garden” — a car-free model of real road, complete with stop signs, roundabouts and one-way streets — in a local park is giving kids a risk-free space to learn traffic laws.

Designing a Better Ballot, The Atlantic
In a country already mired by low voter turnout (two-thirds of citizens didn’t bother to vote in the last midterm election), ballots that go uncounted because they are left blank, unsigned or marked improperly is an even bigger civic concern. In Florida, home of the notorious hanging chad, and other jurisdictions, elections officials are simplifying language and adding design elements to ensure ballots are properly cast — and counted.

This Machine Could Prevent Gun Violence — If Only Cops Used It, The Marshall Project
When it comes to creating a national gun registry, law-abiding firearms owners often feel their Second Amendment rights are in the crosshairs. But if there’s one issue they should be able to agree on, it’s this: reforming an underutilized database that targets only criminal shooters. The National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) helps police track the unique markings imprinted on shell casings and flag matches at other crime scenes, implicating only the perpetrators.