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Working within the System to Create Active Streets

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Working within the System to Create Active Streets

Format: 60 minute panel
Abstract: Fostering walkable, active streets requires an understanding of how government works – particularly the transportation agencies, engineers, and elected officials who often serve as gatekeepers to change. Learn about how to build the relationships, partnerships, political support, and resources necessary to create successful, healthy streets.
Presenters:
Presenter: Kelly Morphy WALC Institute
Co-Presenter: Molly O'Reilly America Walks
Co-Presenter: Gary Toth PPS

  • Had progress actually been allowed back in the 90's the Portland area wouldn't have the 14th worst traffic in the US. Sure no one wants to be like LA, but cities shouldn't make the same mistakes as them either, and that is building after it's too late, hence the multi-billion dollar freeway projects going on now. Money like that can be used for other things, such as shelter, feeding hungry children, education, etc. Things like this just delay the inevitable, the Portland area will have more freeways, it will just cost tax payers a whole lot more than it would have 20-30 years ago.
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Working within the System to Create Active Streets

  1. 1. Working Within the System to Create Active Streets
  2. 2. “Walking Institute” America Walks Project for Public Spaces Walkable and Livable Communities Institute “Why Walking and Walkability? The Latest Info to Make the Case” “Core Principles of Walkable Places and Lessons Learned” “Creating Programs that Get People Walking” “Working within the System to Create Active Streets” “Talk with Walking/Walkability Experts” 3PM, Room 318 “Funding Community-Based Walkability Efforts” 4:15PM, Room 311
  3. 3. Kelly Morphy Executive Director Walkable and Livable Communities Institute Gary Toth Senior Director of Transportation Initiatives Project for Public Spaces Heidi Hansen-Smith Community Programs Coordinator Healthy Hawaii Initiative, Hawaii Dept. of Health Molly O’Reilly Board Member of America Walks President of Idaho Walk Bike Alliance
  4. 4. PROJECT FOR PUBLIC SPACES Working with Street Designers & Engineeers Gary Toth Project for Public Spaces Pro Walk Pro Bike Pro Place May 2, 2014
  5. 5. PROJECT FOR PUBLIC SPACES 2 34 years at the New Jersey Department of Transportation 7 Years Director of Transportation Initiatives at PPS Invested Career working at the community/agency interface Bachelor’s Engineering Stevens Institute of Technology 1973
  6. 6. PROJECT FOR PUBLIC SPACES Engineers are not bad people!
  7. 7. PROJECT FOR PUBLIC SPACES Engineers as problem solvers!
  8. 8. PROJECT FOR PUBLIC SPACES Engineers as problem solvers!
  9. 9. PROJECT FOR PUBLIC SPACES Engineers as problem solvers!
  10. 10. Engineers as problem solvers! PROJECT FOR PUBLIC SPACES
  11. 11. PROJECT FOR PUBLIC SPACES Pre-Automobile Era We Had a Different Problem to Solve  Street design HAD to accommodate all users  Relationship of land use to streets was critical for survival
  12. 12. PROJECT FOR PUBLIC SPACES Graphic courtesy of Andy Singer
  13. 13. PROJECT FOR PUBLIC SPACES The Problem Engineers Were Asked to Solve Changed And we all stopped viewing Streets as Places
  14. 14. PROJECT FOR PUBLIC SPACES How to Partner to Get What You Want
  15. 15. PROJECT FOR PUBLIC SPACES How to Partner
  16. 16. PROJECT FOR PUBLIC SPACES Getting hit in the head with a rock is a bad way to start an open minded conversation General Principles
  17. 17. PROJECT FOR PUBLIC SPACES Don’t be afraid to escalate If Respectful Communication Doesn’t Get You What You Want General Principles
  18. 18. PROJECT FOR PUBLIC SPACES “If you can’t beat them, arrange to have them beaten!” When all else fails, then you can get tough General Principles
  19. 19. PROJECT FOR PUBLIC SPACES “If you can’t beat them, arrange to have them beaten!” George Carlin When all else fails, then you can get tough General Principles
  20. 20. PROJECT FOR PUBLIC SPACES Observe/gather information at different times of day. Do not seek solutions—stick to “building a case” for the government jurisdiction to solve the problem! Define the problem, not the solution How to Partner
  21. 21. PROJECT FOR PUBLIC SPACES The PPS Street Audit Tool Define the problem, not the solution Resources How to Partner
  22. 22. PROJECT FOR PUBLIC SPACES Do Your Homework How to Partner
  23. 23. Do Your Homework
  24. 24. Do Your Homework
  25. 25. PROJECT FOR PUBLIC SPACES PPS Rightsizing Web Resource http://www.pps.org/reference/rightsizing/
  26. 26. PROJECT FOR PUBLIC SPACES Asking the Right Questions regarding Roadway Design Flexibility
  27. 27. PROJECT FOR PUBLIC SPACES Where is the flexibility?
  28. 28. PROJECT FOR PUBLIC SPACES Where is the flexibility?
  29. 29. PROJECT FOR PUBLIC SPACES Where is the flexibility? • Functional Classification • Design Vehicle • Design Speed • Ranges in tables • Level of Service is NOT a mandate
  30. 30. PROJECT FOR PUBLIC SPACES “You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar” Rose Toth, circa 1960 General Principles
  31. 31. Gary Toth David Nelson 212-620-5660 Gtoth@pps.org
  32. 32. Working Within the System to Create Active Streets Pro Walk/Pro Bike/Pro Place Pittsburg, PA 2014
  33. 33. Hawaii State Department of Health Chronic Disease Prevention & Health Promotion Division Healthy Hawaii Initiative
  34. 34. Paradise?
  35. 35. We want more of this!
  36. 36. •Build Partnerships –Relationship building –Education –Persistence •Recruit Champions •Partner with Transportation Agencies & Officials Passing & Implementing Complete Streets Policies Reality Check: Policy change is hard work – Implementation is harder
  37. 37. Build Partnerships • Elected Officials – Mayor – State Senators & Representatives – Councilmembers • State Agencies • County Agencies • Advocacy Groups – AARP – Hawaii Bicycling League – Hawaii Public Health Institute – Nutrition & Physical Activity Coalitions
  38. 38. Champions need support –Provide political cover –Rally the advocates –Provide funding support Recruit Champions
  39. 39. •Ask how you can support THEM – don’t tell them what to do or what YOU need •Find the common ground and language that you both speak –Safety –Perception –Funding – leverage opportunities •Bring solutions – not problems •Incorporate the HEALTH message Partner with Transportation Agencies & Officials
  40. 40. Challenges •There will be many! •Change takes time – it’s all about seizing opportunities •Not everyone is ready at the same time –State DOT
  41. 41. Mahalo!
  42. 42. Stopping a Proposed Freeway A Grassroots Victory -- Portland, OR 1989-1995
  43. 43. How We Won • Persistence! • Organize/Strategize • Build support widely • Analyze independently • Offer better alternatives • Find and support allies within the system; Find the ones who can say “YES”
  44. 44. Portland’s Unbuilt Freeways Proposed Western Bypass
  45. 45. The Early Days • Good Luck: Premature Press Coverage • One Thousand Friends of Oregon – Connected those concerned – Ultimately a crucial ally • Organized from the first meeting – Chose a name: STOP – Sensible Transportation Options for People – Divided tasks – Coordinated regularly
  46. 46. Who Decides? Metro Council Cities JPACT TPAC Counties Voters; the Public
  47. 47. We Deemed Important: • Independent Analysis – Reinterpreted study numbers to show project not needed, effective – Published and cited • Grassroots activation and education – Countless community meetings along alignment – Built membership ~500, newsletter list of 2,500 – “If Freeways Were the Answer, Los Angeles Would be Paradise”
  48. 48. We Deemed Important, 2 • Offering alternatives – People felt they couldn’t be “nimby” without an alternative (or two) – A new paradigm
  49. 49. Eight Myths of Traditional Traffic Planning Myth 1: Traffic projections are important in deciding what roads are needed. Myth 2: Planners are not responsible for how much people want to use their cars. Myth 3: Predicted traffic growth must be provided for. Myth 4: Bigger roads are safer roads. Myth 5: Bigger roads increase people’s mobility. Myth 6: Bigger roads advantage more people than they disadvantage. Myth 7: It is not the job of traffic planners to look at wider social, political and environmental trends. Myth 8: Planning should be left to the experts.
  50. 50. The LUTRAQ Principles: 1. Focus the community toward transit. 2. Encourage a variety of uses. 3. Create streets for people. 4. Provide public open spaces. 5. Design the community for livability. 6. Involve citizens in the creation of their community.
  51. 51. Our Work: • Working from the inside – Members of ODOT’s Citizen Advisory Committee – I served on Metro’s Transportation Policy Alternatives Committee (TPAC) – I became president of my Neighborhood Assn. to oppose from that platform – Others did similarly
  52. 52. Our Work • Swaying decision makers – Educating!! Copies of Traffic Calming Sharing news of developing LUTRAQ study – Attending hearings Large crowds, well identified – Behind the scenes
  53. 53. An Enduring Victory • Light rail has been extended throughout the Portland Metro region • Metro now takes walking and bicycling seriously • Portland’s newest bridge has no automobiles! • Smart Growth organizations are now serious players in transportation
  54. 54. Lessons Learned • Persistence! • Organize/Strategize • Build wide support • Analyze independently • Offer better alternatives • Find and support allies within the system; Win the ones who can say “YES”

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