design standards

Lowering speed limits can reduce crashes

By Chris McCahill Speed limits are often based on observed 85th percentile free flow speeds. Setting them lower, even to address safety concerns, can be difficult once engineering recommendations have been made. A new study, however, bolsters the case for doing so by showing that setting limits

Toward livable streets: A review of recent improvements in practice

By Eric Sundquist In the last decade a number of project development and design guides, such as ITE’s “Designing Walkable Urban Thoroughfares,”  NACTO’s “Urban Street Design Guide,” and city design guide manuals, have emerged. A new article by Eric Dumbaugh of Florida Atlantic

Portland guide to streamline protected bicycle lane design

By Michael Brenneis In the United States, bicycling mode share hovers in the single-digits, while many European countries enjoy double-digit cycling mode share. The difference may be due to the attention European planners and engineers pay to cycling infrastructure. Increasing the active

Florida DOT hits milestone in context-based street design

By Chris McCahill and Rayla Bellis As part of its Complete Streets Implementation, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) recently adopted eight context classifications to guide road design decisions. Under this new system, planners and engineers will consider existing and future

FDOT makes strides in Complete Streets implementation: Former Dist. 1 Secretary Billy Hattaway weighs in

By Rayla Bellis The Florida Department of Transportation has achieved a major milestone in its efforts to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety. In late April, FDOT issued a draft of the new FDOT Design Manual, which integrates a context-sensitive Complete Streets approach and will replace the

September webinar: A guide for complete transportation—Arizona DOT’s new design guide

By Mary Ebeling In February, Arizona DOT published its much-anticipated Complete Transportation Guidebook, which ADOT views as a conversation about integrating sustainable transportation practices into the planning, scoping, and design of the project development process. The guide seeks to

Can Florida design its way to safety? SSTI meeting highlight

By Chris McCahill Early this month, SSTI kicked off its Community of Practice meeting in Detroit with a discussion about road safety issues following this year’s surprising spike in traffic deaths. The discussion ranged from issues of alcohol- and cell phone-related crashes to the Tennessee

FHWA proposing new road design policies for greater flexibility

By Dan Handel Earlier this month the FHWA announced a proposed change to its design standards that are currently applied to all highway projects. The changes are intended to give engineers and planners much more flexibility and autonomy by eliminating outdated standards. For roads with a speed

MassDOT implements policies to increase walk, bike, and transit travel

By Eric Sundquist In support of its goal to triple walking, biking and transit travel by 2030, the Massachusetts DOT has issued a Healthy Transportation Policy Initiative with several implementation steps. Among the actions required by the document: All MassDOT-funded projects must seek to

Automakers designing for pedestrian safety

By Bill Holloway Traditionally, improving the safety of pedestrians sharing roads with motor vehicles has been accomplished through policies aimed at reducing vehicle speeds and the likelihood of vehicle-pedestrian collisions. However, in recent years automakers have been working to design cars