Planners and Architects

Case Studies

Charlotte: Retrofit Street Connectivity

In 2006, the city of Charlotte, NC, created a Street Connectivity program within its Department of Transportation (CDOT) to run the “inventory and implementation of needed street connections within and between neighborhoods as well as the construction of new connectors and local streets to provide improved access and connectivity for future development.” The program is … Continue reading Charlotte: Retrofit Street Connectivity

Arlington: Transit-Oriented Development

Arlington County, VA, is one of the most successful examples of transit- oriented development (TOD) in the United States. In a case study prepared for the Transit Cooperative Research Board, the authors zeroed in on successful TOD tactics employed by Arlington County officials. One of the county’s first steps was to create a general land … Continue reading Arlington: Transit-Oriented Development

San Jose: LOS Exemptions for Walking

In the 1960’s, San José, CA, grew rapidly in automobile-oriented growth patterns until roadways became congested and undeveloped land more scarce. San José updated its transportation policy in 2005 to give priority to pedestrians, transit, and bicyclists in specific locations. Those areas included parts of the city zoned for higher densities, planned communities, and transit-oriented … Continue reading San Jose: LOS Exemptions for Walking

Vancouver: EcoDensity

The Vancouver City Council approved and adopted former Mayor Sam Sullivan’s EcoDensity initiative in 2008 in an effort to increase the city’s housing density while reducing its environmental impact. The council’s approval capped a two-year-long process of public and legislative outreach and discussion. The resulting EcoDensity charter outlined the goals of its initiative to overhaul … Continue reading Vancouver: EcoDensity

Tysons Corner: Malls into Walkable Destinations

Tysons Corner, VA, is a sprawling cluster of shopping malls and office parks at the intersection of four major highways in Northern Virginia’s Fairfax County. The regional economic hub contains more than 100,000 jobs but hosts fewer than 20,000 residents. Every day, thousands of commuters flood highways en route to jobs in Tysons Corner and … Continue reading Tysons Corner: Malls into Walkable Destinations

Washington, DC: Temporary Urbanism Program

The Washington, DC, Office of Planning (OP) launched its Temporary Urbanism initiative in 2010 to help transform vacant spaces into dynamic destinations. The initiative emerged out of a 2009 OP forum that brainstormed ways to “catalyze collaborative action across the creative, green, technology, nonprofit, education, and technology sectors.” The OP’s current Temporary Urbanism program is … Continue reading Washington, DC: Temporary Urbanism Program

San Francisco: Parklet Program

The cities of New York and San Francisco have taken the concept of Park(ing) Day and created official programs to repurpose curbside parking into public space on a longer-term basis. The San Francisco Parklet program seeks applications from business improvement districts, retail stores, and restaurants for the opportunity to design, construct, and maintain the spaces … Continue reading San Francisco: Parklet Program

PA & NJ: Context-Sensitive Design

In 2008, the Pennsylvania and New Jersey departments of transportation, in collaboration with the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, published The Smart Transportation Guidebook. The publication provided the framework for updating all other DOT processes around six tenants: Adapt solutions to the context, tailor the approach, plan projects with community collaboration, accommodate alternative transportation modes, … Continue reading PA & NJ: Context-Sensitive Design

Seattle: Sidewalk Network Analysis

Seattle used a GIS-based approach to prioritize potential sidewalk projects. The city first analyzed sidewalk needs based on the presence and characteristics of existing sidewalks, such as physical buffers, traffic speeds and volumes, and block length. The city then analyzed sidewalks based on three demand analyses—potential pedestrian demand, socioeconomic / health equity, and corridor function—and … Continue reading Seattle: Sidewalk Network Analysis

New York: Planning for Multiple Modes

In 2009, NYC Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) and MTA New York City Transit (NYCT) teamed up to design and implement the M15 Select Bus Service (SBS) line along First and Second Avenues in Manhattan. The SBS project, which was modeled after bus rapid transit to provide subway-like service with buses, aimed to meet goals previously … Continue reading New York: Planning for Multiple Modes

Tactics

Narrow or Reduce Travel Lanes

Streets frequently have more space allotted to cars than is necessary. This tactic entails redesigning new or existing roadways to reduce the width and number of travel lanes wherever possible. Techniques for achieving this include “road diets” and reducing travel-lane widths. A “road diet” typically refers to converting a roadway with two lanes in each … Continue reading Narrow or Reduce Travel Lanes

Adopt Accessible & Attractive Streetscape Design Guidelines

The shape and amenities of sidewalks, crosswalks, and plazas are often determined by streetscape design guidelines. These guidelines can require that walking infrastructure is accessible to all persons regardless of ability or stature, and they can help create a safe, pleasant place for people to walk, sit, stand, and move around. Guidance Create a community … Continue reading Adopt Accessible & Attractive Streetscape Design Guidelines

Adopt Context-Sensitive Street Design Guidelines

Context-sensitive street design guidelines require a collaborative approach to transportation planning. They need a shared stakeholder vision, comprehensive understanding of contexts, and design flexibility to balance the transportation needs of multiple modes while enhancing community and natural environments. Guidance Guidelines should address both the planning process and design considerations NCHRP Report 642: Quantifying the Benefits of … Continue reading Adopt Context-Sensitive Street Design Guidelines

Permit Park(ing) Day Every Day

Inspired by Park(ing) Day, the annual event that invites citizens to transform metered parking spots into temporary public parks, cafes, and on-street bike parking, a local jurisdiction can create a simple, standard permit process to transform parking spots into longer-term public spaces. Guidance Seek a community partner to educate and engage the public Determine who … Continue reading Permit Park(ing) Day Every Day

Encourage Temporary Uses in Vacant Buildings and Sites

Local governments can create policies or programs to direct or fund temporary programming in privately or publicly owned vacant buildings or lots in order to create safer, more dynamic streets and sidewalks. Temporary uses can range from pop-up retail and art exhibitions to urban farms and community gardens. Guidance Create a working group with property … Continue reading Encourage Temporary Uses in Vacant Buildings and Sites

Transform Underutilized Malls into Walkable Destinations

Underutilized strip centers, malls, and aging office parks are ideal locations to transform into dense, mixed-use, walk-friendly destinations. The effort usually requires revising funding priorities, zoning regulations, and urban design guidelines in order to implement that walkable vision. Guidance Appoint a task force to organize regular and meaningful public participation, such as a series of … Continue reading Transform Underutilized Malls into Walkable Destinations

Diversify Suburban Land Use Regulations

Land use regulation amendments, ideally based on a vision created with broad-based public input, can encourage higher density and more diverse land uses in low-density residential developments. Guidance Consider zoning amendments that encourage: In-fill and row-house development New and diverse housing types, such as the construction of small homes in alleyways, above garages in single-family … Continue reading Diversify Suburban Land Use Regulations

Provide LOS Exemptions for Pedestrian, Transit, and Bicycling Infrastructure Improvements

This land use policy modifies how transportation impacts are analyzed and mitigated: When a proposed development would have a significant impact on motor-vehicle levels of service (LOS) in certain areas (transit corridors, transit stations, neighborhoods, or protected intersections), the policy would allow developers to replace automobile LOS mitigation with improvements for pedestrians, transit, or cyclists. … Continue reading Provide LOS Exemptions for Pedestrian, Transit, and Bicycling Infrastructure Improvements

Create Transit-Oriented Development (TOD)

TOD is a compact, high-density, mixed-use development benefiting from its proximity to transit by supporting transit use, walking, and cycling. Guidance Create a strategic station-area development plan incorporating public input, and ideally backed by existing zoning regulations that recognize TOD principles Where existing regulations do not encourage TOD, proposed zoning exemptions could include reduced parking … Continue reading Create Transit-Oriented Development (TOD)

Retrofit Street, Walking, and Bicycle Connections into Existing Suburbs

The construction of new street, bicycle, and/or pedestrians connections between existing streets on municipal land or private property. Guidance Finish connecting on existing rights-of-way paired with infrastructure improvements for community cooperation Investigate potential utility easements, alleyways, and planned streets that were never constructed as potential rights-of-way for connections Purchase private land lots, construct the desired … Continue reading Retrofit Street, Walking, and Bicycle Connections into Existing Suburbs

Webinars

New Webinar: “Walking and Walkability in Rural Communities” (October 13, 2016)

Register Here Webinar Title: Walking and Walkability in Rural Communities Date/Time: October 13th, 2016 at 2pm Eastern, 11am Pacific Register Here About the Webinar Humans are built to walk and the built environment needs to match this. How can individuals, organizations and governments work to make sure that every American has access to safe, accessible … Continue reading New Webinar: “Walking and Walkability in Rural Communities” (October 13, 2016)

Partnering for Strong Economies- Regional Councils & Walkable Communities Webinar

America Walks and the National Association of Regional Councils hosted webinar which examines how federal transportation funding is allocated through Regional Councils and how to access it for projects that promote walkable communities including complete streets, safety efforts and place-making. The webinar explores two unique perspectives as we hear from both a planner from a … Continue reading Partnering for Strong Economies- Regional Councils & Walkable Communities Webinar

New Webinar: Call to Action: Paths to Walkable Communities

Register Here Date and Time: May 12, 2016 at 2pm Eastern, 11am Pacific Webinar Title: “Call to Action: Paths to Walkable Communities” Register Here About the Webinar The release of the Surgeon General’s Call to Action on Walking & Walkable Communities in September 2015 was a watershed moment for the walking movement. Its release provided … Continue reading New Webinar: Call to Action: Paths to Walkable Communities

New Webinar- Partnering for Strong Economies: Regional Councils and Walkable Communities

Webinar Title:  Partnering for Strong Economies: Regional Councils and Walkable Communities Date and Time: May 5, 2016 at 2pm Eastern, 11am Pacific Register Here  About the Webinar Join America Walks and the National Association of Regional Councils for a webinar on May 5th at 2pm Eastern, 11am Pacific. The webinar will examine how federal transportation … Continue reading New Webinar- Partnering for Strong Economies: Regional Councils and Walkable Communities

Fundraising on the Move: Crowdfunding for Walkable Communities Webinar

Looking to increase resident engagement in your work? Need cash quickly for an urgent project? Trying to build an individual donor base to take your nonprofit to the next level? Curious about crowdfunding? This webinar with the crowdfunding nonprofit ioby will help you learn more about how crowdfunding can be both an effective fundraising and community-engagement tool … Continue reading Fundraising on the Move: Crowdfunding for Walkable Communities Webinar

Exploring Tactical Urbanism Webinar

America Walks was excited to host the third webinar of our free 2016 webinar series on March 8, 2016- “Exploring Tactical Urbanism”. In March’s webinar, we looked at how tactical urbanism is helping to shape the built environment. Walkable communities are safe, healthy and vibrant communities. America Walks was excited to offer a webinar that explores how the idea of tactical urbanism is instrumental … Continue reading Exploring Tactical Urbanism Webinar

Pedestrian Planning for Communities: A Transferable Training and Implementation Program from Kentucky

America Walks’ Tools for the Field webinar series continued by showcasing Kentucky’s “Pedestrian Planning for Communities” training and implementation program. In the last few years, this partnership effort, led by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and the Department for Public Health, has helped 30 communities across the state to develop, adopt and start to fund and … Continue reading Pedestrian Planning for Communities: A Transferable Training and Implementation Program from Kentucky

New Webinar- Pedestrian Planning for Communities: A Transferable Training and Implementation Program from Kentucky

Date and Time: Thursday, February 11th at 11am Pacific, 2pm Eastern Register Here About the Webinar America Walks’ Tools for the Field webinar series continues February 11th by showcasing Kentucky’s “Pedestrian Planning for Communities” training and implementation program. In the last few years, this partnership effort, led by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and the Department … Continue reading New Webinar- Pedestrian Planning for Communities: A Transferable Training and Implementation Program from Kentucky

Livable Communities for All Ages Webinar

America Walks is excited to partner with AARP for its first webinar of 2016. To meet its commitment to creating great places for people of all ages, AARP has developed several resources that should be in the toolbox of any walking advocate. AARP’s Jeanne Anthony will walk participants through two of their resources, the Livability … Continue reading Livable Communities for All Ages Webinar

Walkability: The Health and Wellness Equation

Walking is more than basic transportation and recreation; it is the key to health, longevity and affordable living. If we want more equitable communities–accessible–then walking must become a natural activity again. We are all change agents. In this session, Dan Burden, one of the earliest pioneers in North America’s walkability movement, who is credited with … Continue reading Walkability: The Health and Wellness Equation