Post-recession, we’ve got a lot less blank slate, greenfield development where streets get designed and built from scratch. Instead we’re dealing with redevelopment and infill where the challenge is to retrofit existing streets to make them walkable. That may include a colorful palette, from road diets to roundabouts, and a need to be frugal, substituting a $150,000 roundabout for an over $200,000 signalized intersection every now and then.
Furthermore, most places are using antiquated methods for anticipating need. Take for example the most recent gas spike, which induced a 15% surge in transit use in California and Oregon. During that timeframe, the Federal Highway System lost 3.5% of its traffic — and never got it back! Yet we continue to make investment decisions based on traffic projections for 20 years from now, with no accounting for oil price volatility.
That’s simply not sustainable. Tomorrow’s winners will be those connecting land use with expanded transportation options today. And that’s what this webinar’s all about.
During this session, Peter Swift will address these questions, and look at some case studies of how streets can be retrofitted where Metropolitan Planning Organizations have been willing to change their assumptions about how traffic volumes are estimated. Then we’ll look at a couple of extreme cases in the Middle East, and what happened when projects are free of trip generation requirements.
Peter Swift is a transportation planner and engineer involved with Designing Walkable Urban Thoroughfares, produced by the ITE and CNU, both as a voting member and co-author. He is the author of the pedestrian friendly street design portion of APA’s Planning and Urban Design Standards. Professional engineer in several states, Peter has written a number of papers that have been pivotal to Complete Streets design, including Residential Street Typology and Injury Accident Frequency. In his work, Peter addresses the context-sensitive thoroughfare network and standards, both for newly designed roadways, and for retrofitting existing thoroughfares.