To Walk or Not to Walk

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Rick Hall analyzes the economic, health and environmental implications of creating pedestrian friendly, walkable neighborhoods. While recognizing the importance of walkability to the overall effort of healthy urban development, Mr. Hall highlights the "top ten" factors contributing to walkability. Topping this list is small block size. Mr. Hall's presentation reminds us of the importance of contextual connectivity, pedestrian accessibility as well as urban density and their contribution sustainable city design.

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To Walk or Not to Walk

  1. 1. To Walk, or Not to Walk … 2009 CNU Project for Transportation Reform (PTR) Summit Portland, Oregon Richard A. Hall, P.E. HPE Hall Planning & Engineering, Inc.
  2. 2. To walk, or not to walk: that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer Edwin Booth, Hamlet 1870 Wikipedia
  3. 3. the signs and arrows of outrageous proportion,
  4. 4. Or to take arms against a sea of trucks, And by opposing slow them?
  5. 5. To walk: To speed no more;
  6. 6. and by a stroll to say we end D. Burdin
  7. 7. the heart-ache of a thousand annual deaths that flesh is heir to;
  8. 8. To walk, to stroll the street: perchance to dream ... D. Burdin
  9. 9. life before 30
  10. 10. life after 30
  11. 11. <ul><li>economy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>development projects must sell </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Read Greyfields into Goldfields , CNU Lee Sobel </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>TND property values, 40 to 200% premium </li></ul></ul><ul><li>health </li></ul><ul><ul><li>CDC, obesity epidemic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>astounding highway fatality rate – 45k/year </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>safe walk to school </li></ul></ul><ul><li>environment – climate </li></ul><ul><ul><li>it’s a crisis! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>IPCC UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>urban design influences VMT, thus a valid solution </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>what we can’t see can hurt us! 1 pound per mile, out window. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>etc. </li></ul>Why Walk?
  12. 12. CO 2 Emissions per Passenger mile
  13. 13. Drake’s Well – 150 years ago Titusville, Pennsylvania Edwin L. Drake & George Bissell struck oil, at 69 feet August 27/1859
  14. 14. tale of two cities <ul><li>drivable suburban </li></ul><ul><ul><li>FAR = 0.2 – 0.4 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>vehicle mobility only by LOS - America’s default </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>extensive parking lots & wide roads </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>requires estimated 2/3 more energy than walkable urbanism </li></ul></ul><ul><li>walkable urban </li></ul><ul><ul><li>FAR = 0.8 – 40.0 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>total mobility; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>walking, biking, transit, & vehicle use </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>urban form leads transportation design </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>often illegal today </li></ul></ul><ul><li>from Option of Urbanism by Chris Leinberger: </li></ul>
  15. 15. Andrew Georgiadis drivable suburban
  16. 16. walkable urban Andrew Georgiadis
  17. 17. It is not without hazard that change comes
  18. 20. Top 10 Walkability Factors <ul><li>10. Street Trees </li></ul><ul><li>9. Lower Volumes </li></ul><ul><li>8. Sidewalks </li></ul><ul><li>7. Narrow Streets </li></ul><ul><li>6. Interconnected Streets </li></ul><ul><li>5. On Street Parking </li></ul><ul><li>4. Lower Traffic Speeds </li></ul><ul><li>3. Mixed Land Use </li></ul><ul><li>2. Buildings Fronting St. </li></ul><ul><li>1. Small Block Size! </li></ul>
  19. 22. Gaines Corridor Workshop
  20. 23. Urban Transportation Design Question of the Century <ul><li>Q. Can you see DOT treating Gaines Street any differently than Capital Circle by the interstate? </li></ul><ul><li>A. No. </li></ul>Arterial
  21. 26. <ul><li>“ The first step in the (thoroughfare) design process is to define the function that the facility is to serve.” AASHTO </li></ul>
  22. 27. functional classification <ul><li>Arterials - Connecting major areas, long trips for mobility </li></ul><ul><li>Collectors - Connecting arterials, intermediate trips </li></ul><ul><li>Locals - Serving local access & connecting to collectors, short trips </li></ul><ul><li>All trips are by auto or truck , no pedestrians in the critical functional definition </li></ul><ul><li>Areas = rural or urbanized, only two major areas </li></ul><ul><li>Add a third major area type – Compact Urban </li></ul>
  23. 28. larger problem <ul><li>arterial roadway designs differ only for rural & urbanized areas. </li></ul><ul><li>Again, too little regard for walking & compact urban context </li></ul>
  24. 29. rural urbanized Update the functional classification system areas
  25. 30. rural suburban compact urban Update the functional classification system areas
  26. 31. rural suburban compact urban new compact urban Update the functional classification system areas
  27. 32. <ul><li>simulate urbanized travel from past travel patterns </li></ul><ul><li>apply expensive travel models of capacity </li></ul><ul><li>size network per vehicle LOS to prevent “failure” </li></ul><ul><li>simulate urban form based on measured places </li></ul><ul><li>prioritize character and function over capacity </li></ul><ul><li>network is sized to yield smaller blocks </li></ul>suburban compact urban what is the difference?
  28. 33. arterial collector local proportion of service by functional classification general urban compact urban land access vehicle mobility land access mobility for all modes
  29. 34. trip length by functional classification arterial collector local general urban compact urban vehicles all modes
  30. 35. <ul><li>continue valiant efforts to adjust suburban thoroughfares </li></ul><ul><li>apply complete streets planning & design </li></ul><ul><li>walking is first </li></ul><ul><li>set low speeds as 20 & 25 </li></ul><ul><li>develop ped. scale design parameters </li></ul><ul><li>encourage multimodal travel via networks </li></ul><ul><li>decrease travel modeling and traffic impact analysis </li></ul><ul><li>reward good design behavior with higher funding levels </li></ul>suburban compact urban what is the effect?
  31. 38. The Transect – A Classification System
  32. 39. 18 mph 18 mph
  33. 42. Roslyn, NY
  34. 44. Roslyn, NY
  35. 45. Congestion or Mobility
  36. 56. 'tis a transformation devoutly to be wish'd. D. Burdin
  37. 57. To walk: To speed no more;

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