CSS, Transportation and Livable Communities

CSS, Transportation and Livable Communities
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"Transportation corridors, whether a main street or a scenic road, and transit facilities whether a simple bus stop or a major train station, are natural focal points for communities. To view them as catalysts for strengthening community life necessitates a shift away from the way transportation has traditionally been conceived." - Project for Public Spaces for the Transportation and Livable Communities Consortium

Website Icon Website The Transportation and Livable Communities Consortium (opens in a new window)
The mission of the Transportation and Livable Communities Consortium is to encourage transportation that better serves the economic, environmental and social needs of communities. It provides a forum for information sharing, education, tool development and application, and collaboration on transportation and livability. It fosters new ideas and practices, and it promotes partnerships among federal, state, and local governments, citizens, and the business community in order to build livable communities with transportation.
-- The Transportation and Livable Communities Consortium
Article Icon Article / Paper / Report How Transportation and Community Partnerships are Shaping America: Part I: Transit Stops and Stations
This booklet explores how people in communities concerned about livability are working in partnership with transportation agencies on locally-initiated projects and programs to create transportation systems that enhance places.
--  Project for Public Spaces
Article Icon Article / Paper / Report How Transportation and Community Partnerships are Shaping America: Part II: Streets and Roads
The case studies included in this booklet provide tangible examples of how transportation partnerships are beginning to reshape America. The input of those who use and experience a place on a regular basis is essential to the process. Moreover, to address these broader “quality of life” goals, transportation agencies and communities must work together with an open mind, pool resources, and share responsibility for implementation. For the state DOTs involved in these projects, this approach reflects an evolution in the way these agencies operate. This booklet is a companion to a publication devoted specifically to transit projects.
--  Project for Public Spaces
Excerpt IconExcerpt The Impact of Transportation on Livability
When transportation is people-oriented, it can help build communities and restore community life. It can provide the accessibility and exposure that helps develop business. It can allow for entrepreneurial opportunities by molding public spaces and transportation facilities that can nurture start-up enterprises. It can spur the identity and cohesiveness that bring communities together and help them grow and become safer and more attractive. more...
from  The Role of Transit in Creating Livable Metropolitan Communities
Article Icon Article / Paper / Report Transit-Friendly Streets: Design and Traffic Management Strategies to Support Livable Communities
This report will be of interest to individuals seeking to improve the livability of their communities and to those concerned with the role that local streets and public transportation can play in pursuing this goal. The report presents 10 strategies used in both the United States and Europe to create transit-friendly streets. The strategies are followed by case studies of five communities that have pursued different initiatives to improve their livability by making their streets more transit-friendly. The report culminates with lessons learned from the case studies. The report is very practical and will be useful to transit professionals, transportation planners, engineers, city officials, and local communities.
--  Project for Public Spaces
Transportation Research Board (TRB)

Article Icon Article / Paper / Report Livable Streets Revisited
This article evaluates the livability of residential boulevards, a type of street that has center lanes for through traffic and local access lanes separated from the center lane by landscaped "malls." Three boulevards were studied. All three carried high traffic volumes, but were rated as more livable than neighboring, conventionally designed streets with medium traffic volumes. The study concludes that boulevards with a side medium design successfully mitigate the impacts of traffic.
-- Peter Bosselmann
Book Icon Book Traffic Calming: The Solution to Urban Traffic and a New Vision for Neighborhood Livability
"Traffic Calming is a holistic, integrated approach based on common sense which seeks to maximize mobility while creating a more livable city by reducing the undesirable side effects of that mobility. One definition of traffic calming is 'environmentally compatible mobility management.'"
-- Citizens Advocating Responsible Transportation (CART)
Article Icon Article / Paper / Report The Role of Transit in Creating Livable Metropolitan Communities
This report will be of interest to individuals seeking to improve the livability of their communities and to those concerned with the role public transportation can play in pursuing this goal. The report combines guidelines and case studies to provide a comprehensive approach for improving community livability and transit ridership in the United States. It is directed toward a broad range of individuals and groups in the public and private sectors associated with community, business, and civic organizations, including public transportation providers, local and metropolitan governments, community groups, and private businesses.
--  Transportation Research Board (TRB)
Article Icon Article / Paper / Report Rethinking the Urban Speedway
For decades, highway engineers focused on designing wider, straighter, faster roads. Now, moving traffic quickly is no longer the sole goal.
-- Christopher Swope
Los Angeles Neighborhood Initiative: Rebuidling Disinvested Neighborhood "Main Streets" from the Bus Stop Up
Los Angeles, CA
The Los Angeles Neighborhood Initiative (LANI), sponsored by Mayor Richard Riordan, is undertaking a 30-month demonstration project that seeks to provide an economic stimulus to eight transit-dependent neighborhoods through community planned transportation improvements, housing, and commercial rehabilitation, and development. Incorporated in 1994, LANI has established community organizations in each neighborhood and provided technical support, training, and funding for demonstration projects around transit facilities.
Davis Square
Somerville, MA
Somerville, Massachusetts, the most densely populated streetcar suburb in New England, is home to 76,000 people. In 1973, Davis Square, one of the cityメs largest central squares and a traditional commercial center, was selected as the location for a new station on the Red Line T (subway), using a former freight rail line that bisected the community. While the station was being planned, the city and the community developed a visionary strategy to radically transform the streets and pedestrian access to the square, provide additional on-street parking, improve its visual appearance, and create opportunities for new development.
Lake Worth, Florida
Lake Worth, FL
"Florida DOT, working with Lake Worth planners, conducted an experiment: using only paint, two principal downtown streets were significantly narrowed to two lanes with the third lane striped for parking. When accident rates fell by over 44 percent during the 1994/95 trial year, a heated discussion ensued--how would they allot the newly gained twelve feet of roadway?"
Merritt Parkway
An excellent example of a holistic design approach is the Merritt Parkway in Connecticut. Designed and built in the 1930's, its overall design philosophy was to build a graceful highway set in a natural environment. The result was a highway that not only met traffic demand, but was also a scenic escape for inhabitants of the urbanized areas it served. Starting in the 1990s, the parkway was restored and improved in phases that demonstrate a remarkable effort in preserving and enhancing the character while letting the community drive the process. The DOT provided the much required leadership and expertise to accomplish the improvements.
Paris Pike - Kentucky
Lexington-Paris, KY
Paris Pike is a US urban/rural primary route between the northern limits of Lexington and the southern limits of Paris, serving commuters as well as through travelers on a segment officially designated as a scenic route. The project involved reconstruction of an existing two-lane road into a four-lane over a distance of approximately 13.5 miles. The need for this improvement is based on Paris Pikeメs importance in the regional transportation system, i.e. its system linkage, its lack of sufficient capacity to adequately serve not only projected travel but also existing traffic demands, inadequate existing roadway geometrics and design features, safety considerations, and social demands. A wide range of context sensitive issues were addressed as part of the construction, impacting both the natural and human environments.
Springdale, Utah: What's Good for a Park is Good for a Town, Too
Springdale, UT
"Surrounded on three sides by Zion National Park, the town of Springdale, Utah, has long served as the gateway community for the park's visitors ... However, with almost three million visitors every year, by the early 1990s, traffic congestion and illegal parking were taking their toll on the park and its gateway town. The heart of the project is the free shuttle bus system that runs through town, picks up and drops off passengers at parking facilities, hotels and major areas, and ends at a new visitor center located within Zion National Park."
Towson Roundabout
Towson, MD
Towson, Maryland is a suburb of Baltimore, Maryland. Near the central part of the Towson business district, four major arterials converge at a single location. The awkward, multi-leg signalized intersection caused congestion and safety problems. In addition, the business community and City of Towson sought improvements to the economic viability of the downtown and believed that economic improvements were directly related to traffic improvements. A number of alternatives were developed, and eventually, a signalized roundabout, relatively new to the U.S. at the time, emerged as the preferred solution. The roundabout and streetscape project are considered a major success and are a source of local pride in the town of Towson.

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