Posted by: Gary Toth“The desire to go ‘through’ a place must be balanced with the desire to go ‘to’ a place.” — Pennsylvania and New Jersey DOTs’ 2007 “Smart Transportation Guide.”
The “complete streets” movement has taken the United States by storm, and has even taken root in countries such as Canada and Australia. Few movements have done so much to influence needed policy change in the transportation world. As of today, almost 300 jurisdictions around the U.S. have adopted complete streets policies or have committed to do so. This is an amazing accomplishment that sets the stage for communities to reframe their future around people instead of cars.
But communities cannot stop there. Complete streets is largely an engineering policy that, according to the National Complete Streets Coalition website, “ensures that transportation planners and engineers consistently design and operate the entire roadway with all users in mind — including bicyclists, public transportation vehicles and riders, and pedestrians of all ages and abilities.”
Getting transportation professionals to think about including pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit users is a key first step in creating great places and livable communities. But that is not enough to make places that truly work for people — “streets as places.” The planning process itself needs to be turned upside-down.
|This illustration from Indianapolis's "Multimodal Corridor and Public Space Design Guidelines" reflects how the new wave of street policies specifies Placemaking guidance as well as how to accommodate all modes.|