Burton Planning Services plays a game about traffic calming with participants in an Active Transportation Academy training about Complete Streets.
The National Complete Streets Coalition is just that—a coalition—and our success is made possible by our many partner organizations. Burton Planning Services is one of those important partners. We spoke with, Planning Manager Amelia Mansfield to learn more about their work and what drives their commitment to Complete Streets.
Tell us about Burton Planning Services and the work you do?
Burton Planning Services (BPS) was formed in 2008 by Kimberly Burton. She leads a multi-disciplinary staff of 15 professionals, including planners, development specialists, engineers, and environmental specialists. BPS offers a broad range of services in community planning & economic development; transportation planning, policies & initiatives; environmental studies and hazard mitigation panning; and communications services & public involvement. Our mission is to provide our clients with sustainable planning, engineering and environmental solutions that are timely, affordable, and customized for their specific needs.
Our clientele ranges from state Departments of Transportation to local governments to private property owners. Most of our work is centered in Ohio, but we’ve recently expanded to Montana, and are seeking clients in other places, too, such as Tennessee, Pennsylvania, and Wyoming. We lead projects as the prime consultant, and also serve as the sub-consultant on larger contracts with broad subject matter.
Many of our favorite projects have a heavy focus on multi-modal transportation and building place through walkable and bikeable environments. We form a strong relationship with our client, provide a variety of public participation opportunities from websites to community forums, offer recommendations on facility designs and countermeasures, and ultimately deliver an implementable plan that outlines the necessary steps to create a safe, equitable, efficient, and sustainable transportation network.
What kinds of projects has Burton Planning Services been doing lately?
Lately, BPS has been doing a lot of transportation planning and community planning where active transportation is integrated. For example, we’ve been working on a few corridor and comprehensive plans for small communities in Ohio and Montana. An emphasis of those planning efforts has been to integrate more of a multi-modal transportation network into their communities through considerations of road diets, bicycle and pedestrian amenities, and policy change to incentivize development of infrastructure for walking and biking. Our big active transportation-specific project right now is providing technical assistance and education to planners and engineers in communities across Ohio through Ohio DOT’s Active Transportation Academy. We research best practices in complete streets implementation, rural active transportation planning, mobility solutions, and other topics, create related curriculum, and provide in-person and eLearning opportunities free of charge.
Why does Burton Planning Services use a Complete Streets approach?
We use a Complete Streets approach in our work because we value a holistic approach to planning. Sustainability and equity are at the heart of our business. We are a planning and engineering firm, and Complete Streets are a direct way that we can help influence and support sustainability and equity in a community that we serve. Complete Streets consider all users yet appreciate and respect the individuality of each community. We can get behind that and support it.
What do you think is Burton Planning Services’ role in the broader effort for safer street design?
We think that our role in the broader effort of safer street design is twofold: 1) establishing best practices and 2) informing communities. As we work with a community, we are not only researching best practices in Complete Streets, we are also developing new approaches that fit the context of our clients’ streets. Similar communities will look to them for examples of street designs that work, and that’s how our best practices efforts will multiply. Our research work, training curriculum, and professional presentation opportunities will also influence the broader effort of safer street design as we reach wider audiences through a growing client base, exposure at state and national conferences, through eLearning venues, and in professional publications.
Why did Burton Planning Services choose to join the National Complete Streets Coalition?
We joined the National Complete Streets Coalition because we like to practice what we preach. We refer to National Complete Streets Coalition resources all the time, so it only made sense to publicly show our support of the organization. Our partnership with the National Complete Streets Coalition signifies our dedication to helping communities build safer streets and achieve a sustainable and equitable transportation network.