Sunday, February 12, 2017
Good Read on Good Urban Planning Advice
Please check out this StreetsBlog Denver article about the former Vancouver chief planner’s thoughts on improving transportation by emphasizing biking, walking, and transit over self-defeating efforts to widen roads.
In a nutshell, Brent Toderian, speaking at the Bicycle Colorado' Moving People Forward conference this month, made the case for urban planning that foregoes trying to “balance” highway construction with other transit options. The result of this approach is to encourage car traffic and discourage the use of multimodal options. In Toderian’s view, “balancing modes” is code for not prioritizing walking, biking, and transit. But, if you design and build a multimodal city, it works better for everybody, including drivers. He also points out that if you want more people to ride bikes, don’t add bike lanes slowly. If there isn’t a complete network of bike lanes, fewer cyclists will use them. So, if you want to get serious about mode share for cycling, cities need a much faster and more robust approach to building separated, protected bike lanes.
Toderian has some other interesting things about Vancouver’s and Denver’s examples, about financing transit, and about the importance of improving transportation for cities’ economic futures.
Brent Toderian is a nationally and internationally respected practitioner and thought-leader with 24 years of experience in advanced urbanism, city planning and urban design. Check out his website UrbanWORKS.