Smart Growth America and the Governors’ Institute on Community Design worked with state departments of transportation to question and assess their underlying assumptions that lead many states to over built, expensive highway solutions for every transportation problem. The following memos are the outcome of that work, which delve into seven common areas of reform that we identified.
Choosing Our Community’s Future is designed for citizens who want to make a positive contribution to shaping the growth and development of their neighborhoods, towns and regions.
As part of their public outreach process, DDOT asked residents to map their daily commutes with pins and string. Photo by thisisbossi via Flickr.
This post is the fifth in a series of case studies about Complete Streets people, places, and projects. Follow the full series over the next several weeks.
All too often, engaging residents in long-range transportation planning means little more than holding a few, sparsely attended evening presentations. For their 2040 transportation plan, however, Washington D.C.’s District Department of Transportation (DDOT) decided to take a completely different approach and create a diverse array of opportunities to provide input, both in-person and online, that were fun, interactive, and personal to get as many DC residents, visitors, workers, and commuters as possible to share their ideas for the city’s transportation future.
Photo: Roy Luck via Flickr
This post is the first in a series of case studies about Complete Streets people, places, and projects. Follow the full series over the next several weeks!
Houston’s bold plan to redesign its bus system—the System Reimagining Project—is akin to a prima-ballerina dancing the final act of Swan Lake. The plan is so elegant, the results so awe-inspiring, that it’s easy to miss all the hard work that led to this moment. A comprehensive, creative, and thoughtful public input and outreach process led to broad support for this revolutionary new bus system.
Let’s start with the magic. In 2012, Houston and Harris County’s Metropolitan Transit Authority, or METRO, recognized its bus system needed an update. No one had taken a hard look at the system in three decades, even though Houston had grown into a more polycentric city and METRO had built the first of several planned light rail lanes. Instead of making minor adjustments, METRO’s board, with the nudging of board member Christof Spieler, an urban planner and transit advocate, decided to see what the system could look like if it were designed from scratch. The new plan, an almost complete remodel of Houston’s current bus system, was approved by METRO’s board just three years later, in February of 2015.