Complete Streets lessons in Central Florida can apply to any community

Ever since the first edition of Dangerous by Design came out in 2009, Florida has had the dubious distinction of having the highest rate of people being struck and killed by cars while walking of any state in the nation.

In light of that problem, municipalities and public agencies across Florida have been working to make streets safer. Now, communities in Central Florida specifically are coming together to make progress on those goals.

Over the past nine months, Smart Growth America, in partnership with the Winter Park Health Foundation, has worked with municipalities and agencies in Central Florida on a series of workshops to implement Complete Streets—streets that are safe and comfortable for everyone, no matter their age, ability, race, income, or how they chose to travel. Changing the way streets are designed, particularly in places with chronic collisions like Florida, is one of the most important steps public agencies can take to prevent people from being struck and killed while walking.

Connecting rural economies to the speed of broadband

Rural communities across the country have abundant natural beauty and a heritage of hard work. By bridging the gap in broadband capabilities, these communities are creating a new resource for their current residents and making themselves more competitive in the national economy.

Watch the recorded kickoff discussion of “Empty Spaces”

On Tuesday we released Empty Spaces, new research looking at the real parking needed at five transit-oriented developments (TODs). The report, produced in partnership the University of Utah, looks at how much less parking is required at TOD than standard engineering guidelines suggest, and how many fewer vehicle trips are generated than those guidelines estimate.

Introducing “Empty Spaces,” new research about parking at five TODs

The land near transit stations is a valuable commodity. Hundreds or thousands of people travel to and through these places each day, and decisions about what to do with this land have implications for local economies, transit ridership, residents’ access to opportunity, and overall quality of life for everyone in a community.

Many communities choose to dedicate at least some of that land for parking. The question is, how much? Standard engineering guidelines are designed for mostly isolated suburban land uses—not walkable, urban places served by transit. But few alternative guidelines for engineers exist.

Empty Spaces: Real parking needs at five TODs, released today, set out to determine how much less parking is required at transit-oriented developments (TODs) and how many fewer vehicle trips are generated than standard industry estimates.

Coming soon: new research on parking requirements at TOD stations

Research has shown development near transit stations requires less parking than other kinds of development. Yet most engineering guidelines are unclear exactly how much less parking is needed. Oversupply of parking takes up valuable land, raises the cost of development, and misses a key opportunity. Building the right amount of parking can help communities get … Continued

New guide: “The How and Why of Measuring Access to Opportunity”

Transportation systems link people to their daily destinations as well as broader opportunity. And transportation agencies across the country are increasingly interested in measuring how well their systems do this. Many practitioners are not sure where to start on that ambitious goal, but a new guide from the Governors’ Institute on Community Design is designed to show them how.

The How and Why of Measuring Access to Opportunity: A Guide to Performance Management is a brand new guidebook on the data, tools, and methodologies transportation officials need to measure access to opportunity, as well as how to integrate these measurements into their planning and investment decisions. The new guidebook provides background on the changing priorities in transportation performance management, how some transportation agencies are already incorporating measures of access into their programs, and discusses the data and tools available to support measuring it. This guidebook might also be useful to elected and civic leaders, policymakers, and stakeholders who wish to work with transportation agencies to address these important priorities.

Now hiring: Communications Associate

Smart Growth America seeks a Communications Associate to assist in the development and creation of outstanding online content, particularly on subjects related to transportation and transit-oriented development. The Communications Associate will join a small, dynamic team involved in much of Smart Growth America’s work promoting vibrant, walkable neighborhoods. This is an opportunity that features a great … Continued

The five communities selected for TOD technical assistance

Five communities working to support development around transit projects will get a big boost this year thanks to technical assistance from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), in partnership with Smart Growth America.

The National Public Transportation/Transit-Oriented Development Technical Assistance Initiative is a four-year project of FTA in partnership with Smart Growth America that helps communities across the country build equitable, compact, mixed-use development around transit stations or along transit corridors, with a focus on development in economically disadvantaged areas.