National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) President and NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan kicked off the three-day Designing Cities Conference with the release of the “Urban Street Design Guide,” documenting the design principles and strategies that the nation’s largest cities are adopting to confront new and growing demands on their streets.
From bus rapid transit (BRT) to bikeways and public seating, the guide showcases a new model for streets that work better for people, bikes, transit and cities. The guide and conference come as new data by NYC DOT show the economic benefits of innovative and sustainable street design on small businesses, with redesigned corridors significantly outperforming other areas in retail revenue.
“Our nation’s strength lies in our cities, which are proving grounds for innovation and bold ideas from the curbline to the skyline,” said Sadik-Khan. “As we unveil this first-ever nationwide playbook for innovative, sustainable streets, we’re also seeing time and again that these investments deliver incredible economic benefits as they build safer, more attractive streets.”
The “Urban Street Design Guide” is based on innovative, implemented projects from across the nation and reflects growing national and international best practices and research in urban design, planning and engineering. Spearheaded by transportation professionals and designers with the input of public and private sector practitioners working in America's large cities, the guide will serve as a blueprint for 21st century American street design.
The guide offers specific strategies for making streets safer and more attractive for all users while stimulating economic growth by accommodating transit, adding medians and sidewalk seating. Many large American cities are already changing the way they build streets and city transportation departments are making ever-greater accommodations for transit in the street, whether through light-rail corridors or BRT.