July 2009

We are pleased to present our July 2009 newsletter on Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS). In this issue we discuss:

We are always looking for your help in making the most up-to-date and comprehensive tool for CSS professionals. We are pleased to say that we have received over 30 case studies from the CSS community in the past few months. Please continue contributing any CSS-related case studies, research papers, news items, editorials, presentations, and other content that you think the CSS community would find interesting. We are especially looking for content related to CSS and sustainability, CSS and Complete Streets, Livable Communities, and examples of CSS in rural and natural settings.

If you have any questions about contributing content, or anything else, please e-mail us at or call (212) 620-5660.

The team

CSS & Complete Streets

CSS and Complete Streets was the topic of the most recent installment of the 2009 CSS Webinar Series. – The webinar attracted nearly 400 participants. A recording of the session can be found at the webinar page, with slideshow presentations by Barbara McCann, President of the National Complete Streets Coalition, Gabe Rousseau, Bicycle and Pedestrian Program Manager for FHWA’s Office of Natural and Human Environment, and Michael Ronkin, Designing Streets for Pedestrians and Bicyclists, LLC.

In conjunction with the Complete Streets webinar, also recently launched an online Complete Streets resource center where users can download and view case studies, reports, state profiles, links, and related content. The content on this website includes AARP’s Planning Complete Streets for an Aging America, Complete Streets: We Can Get There from Here, and Retrofitting Urban Arterials Into Complete Streets, to name a few.  

To register for webinar announcements, please click here. You can also learn more about Complete Streets at the website of the National Complete Streets Coalition.

International Scan on Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety and Mobility

The FHWA has recently concluded an international scan on pedestrian and bicycle safety and mobility. The team included federal, state, and local officials, as well as researchers and Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (APBP) representatives. The purpose of the scan was to identify best practices related to walking and bicycling safety and mobility that could be implemented here in the United States. The team met with transportation officials in Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, Germany, and the United Kingdom.

The key findings of the report are organized around the 5E approach (an expanded version of the 3E approach commonly used in traffic safety improvements):

  • Engineering – designing and building infrastructure that is safe, convenient, and comfortable to use
  • Education – educating all transportation system users on safe and appropriate behavior
  • Enforcement – enforcing existing traffic laws
  • Encouragement – encouraging and promoting the use of sustainable travel modes
  • Evaluation – monitoring the results to ensure that goals are met

Click here to view a summary report of the major items the team hopes to implement in the US. This summer the scan team will reconvene in Washington, DC to finalize the full report, which will be published later this year.

CSS National Dialog Call for Submissions – Deadline: July 31, 2009

As announced in the last CSS newsletter, FHWA and the Center for Transportation and the Environment (CTE) at North Carolina State University, have partnered to initiate a National Dialog about CSS to serve as a catalyst for an ongoing exchange of ideas and build momentum for wider implementation of CSS in the transportation industry. As a key element to the success of the National Dialog. we want to encourage the CSS community to submit case studies, reports, and other materials that you think meet the goals of the Dialog, which are to:

  • Introduce CSS principles and practices to a wide array of partner organizations;
  • Identify CSS best practices and present them to transportation professionals across the nation;
  • Strengthen and broaden interest in CSS;
  • Discover new opportunities for partnerships;
  • Bring new perspectives to planning, designing, building and maintaining transportation facilities;
  • Foster a community of CSS practice and promote the dissemination of CSS best practice examples.

The deadline for submissions has been extended to July 31, 2009.

Once submissions have been received, the Dialog will feature a series of one-day workshops - tentatively planned for the Summer and Fall of 2009 in various locations across the US. Each workshop will highlight a CSS best practice, using a transportation project or program as a Workshop Spotlight to initiate discussion and interaction.

The workshops will be fully documented on the CSS Clearinghouse website, but workshops are just the beginning of the Dialog. The Dialog will continue on the CSS Clearinghouse - through discussion forums, the CSS webinar series, and the publication of new case studies, and much more!  A special website has also been established for material submission and workshop registration:

CSS Videos

One important aspect of is the ability to convey comprehensive information to the CSS community in a variety of formats. In order to enhance that function, we have begun adding videos to the website.

Videos range from presentations on the latest transportation design features, to renderings and 3-D simulations of proposed transportation projects. Transportation is not a static issue, so we feel it is important to deliver information in a way that conveys the full impact of transportation projects, and we think video brings us one step closer to doing that.

If you know of any CSS-related videos you would like to share with the CSS community, please forward them to us. In the future, registered users will have the ability to post videos to topic pages of the CSS website, associate them with state profiles and case studies, and search the CSS Clearinghouse for videos on specific topics.

Below is a video of the proposed Tuscon streetcar. Other videos can be found on the CSS website by clicking here.

Upcoming CSS Events

July 28-29, 2009, 2009 Transportation Planning, Land Use, and Air Quality Conference, Denver, CO,

July 28, 2009, 1:00 – 3:00pm: EPA Webcast: Managing Wet Weather with Green Infrastructure - Retrofits: Green Streets and Operation & Maintenance,

August 9-12, 2009: ITE 2009 Annual Meeting and Exhibit, San Antonio, TX,

September 13, 2009: The 2009 International Conference on Ecology & Transportation, Duluth, MN,

September 14-15, 2009: Integrated Corridor System Management Modeling Best Practices Workshop, Irvine, CA,

October 7-9, 2009, International Walk 21 Conference, New York, NY,

October 22-27, 2009: 2009 AASHTO Annual Meeting, Palm Desert, CA

October 30-November 1, 2009: Rail~Volution 2009, Boston, MA,

November 5-6, 2009: Streets as Places Training Course, Project for Public Spaces, New York, NY,

Feedback, questions, comments, or problems?

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