Transportation Leading PA to Sustainable Design


The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), in conjunction with the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) released their Smart Transportation Guidebook in March of 2008, meant as a guide for integrating planning and design of roads as a means of encouraging better development and livable communities. As background for this Friday’s upcoming brown-bag session on communities and transportation (12.p.m. NOON at the Grand Eastonian Suites and Hotel in Easton on Nov. 6th), here are a few excerpts from this document:

NJDOT and PennDOT cannot always solve congestion by building more,
wider and faster state roadways. There will never be enough financial
resources to supply the endless demand for capacity. Further, both states
realize that the “wider and faster” approach to road construction cannot
ultimately solve the problem. Sprawling land uses are creating congestion
faster than roadway capacity can be increased.

The needs of pedestrians, bicyclists and transit users must be considered in
designing all roadway projects. Sidewalk networks should be well connected
with opportunities for regular, safe street crossings. On collector and arterial
roadways, bike lanes or wide curb lanes can encourage people to bike rather
than drive for short and moderate distance trips. If a roadway is designed
to discourage vehicular speeding, it can be comfortably used by pedestrians
and bicyclists alike. Transit friendly design should support a high level of
transit activity. By encouraging alternative transportation, communities can
break the pattern of sprawling suburbs with rapidly multiplying vehicular
trips and congestion.

I encourage our readers to check out the full document, which includes plenty of informational graphs and provides describes some of the tools that regions and municipalities may use in planning roadways. My initial takeaway from this guide is praise for the collaborative spirit of both PennDOT and NJDOT. What are your thoughts on this document?

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About Beata Bujalska

Beata Bujalska is the former Campaign Coordinator for Renew Lehigh Valley. She currently lives in Panama, a place that fascinates her due to (among other reasons) its recent development boom.

Posted on November 2, 2009, in Events, Public Infrastructure, Transportation, Trends, Urbanism and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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