It’s great to read and hear about all the wonderful changes that are happening in cities around North America now that city engineers and planners are realizing that if we continue to design our cities for cars, we just keep getting more cars, and livability will worsen in many ways as a consequence. We now see many municipalities improving their streets to make them safer for pedestrians and cyclists, and hopefully this will quickly lead to improved (perceived) safety, and more and more people choosing active transportation instead of the car for at least some of their daily trips.
The provincial and federal guidelines and standards that engineers here in Canada adhere to are unfortunately not quite keeping up with this revolution. Recently the (U.S.) National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) has published the Urban Street Design Guide, after publication in 2011 of the Bikeways Design Guide. These documents are tremendously valuable for cycling advocates and transportation engineers alike, since they contain information and examples of best practices from all over the world, so that the wheel does not need to be re-invented anymore. Of course, every road/street/intersection is unique and common sense and experience and insight of road users should still play a significant role in improving the design in each situation.
This past week, the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (ABPB) and NACTO provided a free webinar on the Urban Street Design Guide, of which a recording is now available for viewing: go to the APBP home page and click into the NACTO screen.