Livability is trending, even at transportation departments

Livability is a term that has gained popularity across many walks of life. It’s not just for new urbanists. More people are looking for ways to improve their health and safety by living more actively. That includes getting kids to walk to school, help seniors age in place, and help those of us in between to do a little more human-powered motoring.

So what does that have to do with street design? Quite a bit!

Ever since our federal government started designing highways to move massive amounts of military equipment across the country, states and cities and villages have followed suit. “Main Streets” have been designed like highways for tanks.

Access Management is a traffic engineering term dealing with the spacing of driveways and intersections. The purpose is to increase public safety on streets by minimizing crashes. Vehicle crashes are minimized by making access points to land development predictable and visible. The challenge is to improve driver safety on streets while simultaneously protecting people walking, bicycling, or rickshawing on public streets.

This presentation is a remixed version of one I gave in Dallas, TX in 2012. The audience was made up of fellow transportation wonks, but the concepts are intentionally presented in plain English for the non-wonk.

Note: The copyright on slide 8 did not show up properly. The cartoon on the left was created by Ian Lockwood in 2012.