Planners and Architects

Integrate Transit, Walking, and Cycling into Projects

The needs of transit, cyclists, and pedestrians should be integrated within the design and scope of transportation projects. This can be accomplished by improving infrastructure, modifying design speeds, reconfiguring roadways, and adapting traditional traffic analysis.

Guidance
  • Conduct traffic analysis in terms of person delay rather than vehicle delay to better account for all the people on the road. The Highway Capacity Manual (HCM), which outlines the computational procedures for determining the capacity and quality of service of roadways and intersections, focuses primarily on vehicle delay. HCM does not account for the passenger-efficiency of buses. Any delay should be recalculated from the number of vehicles to the number of passengers traveling through the corridor
  • Determine the appropriate design speed of transportation redesigns with the safety and convenience of pedestrians in mind
  • Integrate transit priority elements into street redesigns. Complete streets often slow traffic, which improves overall street safety, but can negatively affect bus services on that street. Including bus lanes, signal priority, and other bus-focused elements can ensure that these projects also promote transit use.
  • Design safe, convenient infrastructure for the entire door-to-door transit-trip passenger experience, including the routes between the transit stop, stops for travel in both directions (including street crossings), the location of the transit stop, the method of payment, and the transit vehicle itself
  • Incorporate Public Rights-of-Way-Accessibility Guidelines (PROWAG) to ensure universal access throughout the infrastructure improvements
  • Expand the concept of Complete Streets to the network; consider modes by network and routes rather than requiring every mode to be located on the same street
Benefits
  • Creates safe convenient walking and cycling routes to and from transit and trip generators
  • Recalibrates priorities from vehicles to people
  • Provides opportunities for walking and cycling, which improves the emotional and physical health of participants
  • Increases bus-passenger trips
Considerations
  • Traffic-calming and safety improvements may negatively affect bus service and vehicle capacity
  • Projects typically span multiple jurisdictions, requiring increased collaboration between traffic engineers, technical specifications, and political priorities
  • Transit riders and pedestrians often do not have vocal constituencies to advocate for infrastructure improvements or counteract negative perceptions
Where to Use It
  • Roadway repaving and redesign projects
  • Specifications for third-party roadway reconstruction (water main or utility work necessitating repaving)
  • Community visioning processes and plans
Professional Consensus
  • In the absence of official guidance from national associations or governmental departments, cities are turning to best practices employed by other municipalities
Examples

Individual cities that have integration policies include:

This material is the product of a partnership between America Walks and Sam Schwartz Engineering. Visit here for more information on the partnership.