New Directions in Transportation Planning, Context Sensitive Design & Corridor Planning


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By Becky White

2006 Annual Conference, Alabama Chapter, APA

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New Directions in Transportation Planning, Context Sensitive Design & Corridor Planning

  1. 1. Becky White Sain Associates, Inc.New Directions inTransportation Design andContext Sensitive PlanningCorridor Planning
  2. 2. What is ContextSensitive Design?“Context sensitive design (CSD) is acollaborative, interdisciplinary approach thatinvolves all stakeholders to develop atransportation facility that fits its physicalsetting and preserves scenic, aesthetic,historic, and environmental resources, whilemaintaining safety and mobility. CSD is anapproach that considers the total contextwithin which a transportation improvementproject will exist.” FHWA CSD Website Homepage
  3. 3. Key Principles ofCSD Interdisciplinary Team Stakeholder Input Balance Flexibility Aesthetics
  4. 4. How does a CSD approach tocorridor planning differ from a conventional approach?
  5. 5. Conventional Corridor Planning ProcessPrimary Concerns: Safety & Traffic DemandPlan Prepared By: Engineers / PlannersInput By: Governing Agencies PoliticiansPublic Involvement: After Plan is Complete (if at all)
  6. 6. CSD Corridor Planning ProcessPrimary Concerns: Safety & Community ValuesPlan Prepared By: Multidisciplinary TeamInput By: Stakeholders Governing AgenciesPublic Involvement: Early and Often
  7. 7. For Example. . . Two-Lane Road Lots of driveways Average Daily Traffic = 15,000 Level of Service is “E” Functional Class is Major Collector Growth Rate is 2% per year 20-year ADT estimate = 21,000
  8. 8. Conventional PlanningSees This:
  9. 9. . . . and concludes this: Widen the road!
  10. 10. CSD Planning SeesThis. . .
  11. 11. . . . and has more than one“right” answer. Add bicycle lanes. Widen for turn lanes at intersections. Add street lighting to encourage walking. Add bus stops with shelters. Correct sight distance deficiencies. Optimize signal timing. Replace signalized intersections with roundabouts.
  12. 12. A CSD approach seeks to balance mobility concerns with other community values and objectives.
  13. 13. Show me a simpleexample of CSD in a Corridor Planning Study
  14. 14. Case Study: SR 21, Oxford ALCorridor study for 1.2 mile section of State Route 21
  15. 15. Case Study: SR 21,Oxford AL Four-lane divided highway Five signalized intersections ADT above 40,000 Land use primarily commercial Multiple driveways 17 median openings in 1.2 miles 355 traffic accidents in 2003 Heavy peak hour congestion
  16. 16. Case Study: SR 21,Oxford AL Community involvement through a Stakeholder Advisory Group Stakeholders included business owners, citizens, EMS personnel, ALDOT, East Alabama Regional Planning Commission, and the City of Oxford
  17. 17. Case Study: SR 21,Oxford ALMajor Objectives: Improve safety Reduce congestion Preserve capacity & viability of the corridor as the main commercial thoroughfare through Oxford Resulted in development of an access management retrofit plan
  18. 18. Case Study: SR 21,Oxford, AL
  19. 19. Case Study: SR 21,Oxford, ALBenefits of using a CSD approach: Identified hidden problems and concerns that affected the plan Demonstrated to business community our sensitivity to their access concerns Built trust in the process Facilitated agreement with the concepts and hard decisions of access management
  20. 20. What would themotherload of CSDCorridor Planning look like?
  21. 21. Case Study: SR 126, Kingsport, TNCorridor plan for 8.3 mile section of State Route 126
  22. 22. Case Study: SR 126,Kingsport, TN Transitions from urban 4-lane to rural 2- lane facility Land use primarily residential Significant topographical & environmental constraints 20-year ADT projection varies from 29,000 to 9,000 Substandard vertical and horizontal curves Higher than average crash pattern 8 fatalities in five years
  23. 23. Case Study: SR 126,Kingsport, TN A multidisciplinary team from TDOT, consultants, and City staff Community involvement through a Citizens Resource Team Public Involvement Sessions at three stages of the project Website, newsletter, surveys, focus group, toll free phone number
  24. 24. Case Study: SR 126,Kingsport, TNMajor Objectives: Improve safety Maintain scenic character Minimize impacts to community and natural environment Improve pedestrian and bicycle accommodations Reduce congestion (hotly debated)
  25. 25. Case Study: SR 126,Kingsport, TNHow Did We Use the Resource Team? Identify Problems and Concerns Liaison with Community Establish Priorities Create a Vision for the Corridor Make Recommendations
  26. 26. Case Study: SR 126,Kingsport, TNResource Team Planning Workshop: A Workshop for the Resource Team to Explore Design Concepts for SR 126 Group Discussion of Design Parameters
  27. 27. Case Study: SR 126, Kingsport, TN Team members divided into four work groups Each group prepared a concept plan
  28. 28. Case Study: SR 126, Kingsport, TN as needed Engineers and planners assisted Each group presented their concept plan to the whole team for discussion
  29. 29. Public Involvement Kingsport, TN Case Study: SR 126,Public Involvement
  30. 30. Case Study: SR 126, Kingsport, TNPublic Involvement
  31. 31. Case Study: SR 126,Kingsport, TN We used a variety of methods to illustrate the design possibilities and record public preferences.
  32. 32. Case Study: SR 126,Kingsport, TN
  33. 33. Old Stage Road - Existing
  34. 34. Old Stage Road - Simulation – Concept B
  35. 35. Old Stage Road - Simulation – Concept C
  36. 36. What did we struggle within Kingsport? Trust / Mistrust Issues Maintaining a fair process The “Vocal Minority” Lack of understanding about the planning process Communication High accident rate with several fatalities Defining and obtaining consensus
  37. 37. Case Study: SR 126, Kingsport, TN Unanimous Support Was ReachedDuring the 21-month study process there was unanimoussupport among the Resource Team members for a largenumber of recommendations.  11 Enhancement Features in the Design Plan  10 Safety Improvements, with Safety being the number one Priority  7 Points of Interest to the Community  4 Other Special Issues
  38. 38. Case Study: SR 126,Kingsport, TN Some decisions were not unanimous, but were Consensus or Majority Decisions For 5 of the 8 Roadway Sections, the Resource Team Made Consensus Recommendations For 3 of the 8 Roadway Sections, the Team Made Majority Supported Recommendations with Minority Opinions Stated for the Record
  39. 39. Case Study: SR 126, Kingsport, TNLessons Learned: CSD training is helpful for stakeholders to understand the possibilities and limitations they will face. On the front end, the team needs to decide how they will work together, deal with issues, and make decisions (voting, majority, building consensus). Roles and Responsibilities need to be clearly identified and agreed upon up front. (Address who has decision making authority!) Resource Team members should take an active role in public involvement sessions.
  40. 40. Case Study: SR 126, Kingsport, TNMore Lessons Learned: Project managers must be vigilant to keep a fair process that seeks input from everyone, not just the vocal minority. Good facilitation skills are vital! A variety of communication tools is needed to reach the public and convey an accurate message. Follow up is critical to assure continued input from citizens. Graphic displays and narratives must be understandable by non-engineers.
  41. 41. Is a CSD Process WorthIt?It helps you identify and solve the right problems.It facilitates your ability to comply with Federal requirements (NEPA compliance).It can help you save time and money over the long run by avoiding litigation.It allows you to build support from the public for a decision that reflects the community’s concerns and priorities.
  42. 42. Do you havequestions, comments, or observations??? Becky White Sain Associates bwhite@sain.c om