I’m writing to let you know about a new resource that Project for Public
Spaces just launched – the Rightsizing Streets
which features 10 case studies and useful tips and best practices on how to
reconfigure streets in order to best meet the needs of communities today.
The case studies and guide reveal how these projects – sometimes called
‘road diets’ - have dramatically improved the safety, livability, and
active transportation options of streets across the country, demonstrated
through before-and-after analysis.
I’m including a blog posting below that introduces the Rightsizing Streets
Guide, which is intended to help transportation professionals, advocates,
and citizens transform their streets. Please share this resource with your
networks! I also welcome any feedback you have or ideas on how we can
evolve the content of this guide over time.
*Welcome to the Rightsizing Streets Guide*
Many of our streets haven’t changed in decades, even when they’ve proven
dangerous, or the surrounding communities’ needs have changed. When the
roads have been altered, they have often been made wider, straighter, and
faster, rather than more livable.
Our Rightsizing Streets Guide <http://www.pps.org/rightsizing> aims to help
planners and community members update their streets to make them ‘right’
for their context. The centerpiece of the guide is a set of ten rightsizing
case studies that highlight impressive outcomes using before and after data
on mobility, crashes, and other parameters. These are just a few of the
projects that have been built and many more are being planned all over the
country. Our glossary of common rightsizing
practices guide to street selection criteria and before and after
help facilitate similar changes in your community.
[image: Nebraska Avenue (Photo Credit: Florida
Nebraska Avenue (Photo Credit: Florida DOT)
*Rightsizing in Context*
Rightsizing’s approach is not new to PPS or the larger transportation
community. The emergence of the Context Sensitive Solutions movement in
1998 accelerated transportation professionals’ reevaluation of the
presumption that wider, straighter, and faster roads are universally
better. This paradigm shift has been glacially slow, but as with the
glaciers, this movement has reshaped the landscape of transportation. The
fact that wider, straighter, and faster isn’t always better has been the
This approach has momentum. Context Sensitive
Solutions<http://contextsensitivesolutions.org>opened the door in ‘98;
a few years later, the
through it. These approaches emphasize that streets are not solely
for moving cars at high speeds, to the detriment of other possibilities and
the physical health of community members.
But these approaches created a new problem. As more and more people began
to realize that streets don’t always have to be designed exclusively for
high speed travel by cars, the public clamor for streets designed for
people intensified. This clamor, rooted in years of frustration, was
vented at professionals with little or no experience or any sound
engineering practice on how to design streets for all users. If anything,
awareness amongst the public that their streets don’t have to be just for
cars *increased* the communication gap between engineers, planners, and
New knowledge is needed about how to design roadways differently, and also
the ramifications of doing so. This information is important both to
stakeholders and transportation professionals, which is why I wrote
Guide for Better
years ago. Professionals need to be comforted with data
demonstrating that new approaches work within their transportation metrics,
and stakeholders need to see case studies describing how and where
innovative street designs have been launched.
[image: roaddiet] <http://www.andysinger.com/>
Credit: Andy Singer
Fortunately, there are an increasing number of communities undertaking
projects that reverse the trend of wider, straighter, and faster streets.
I collected a number of these case studies during presentations by
transportation professionals around the U.S. Thanks to a grant from the
Anne T & Robert M Bass Foundation, PPS went further and spoke with folks
who have championed rightsizing. The first results of our research are
presented in our Rightsizing Streets Guide
<http://www.pps.org/rightsizing>on the PPS web site.
It has become fashionable to call projects that reallocate street space to
accommodate bikes, pedestrians and transit, “Road Diets.” This term
resonates with advocates who have been frustrated with bloated overdesigned
roads for years; I share their frustration.
But after working *inside* the transportation establishment for 34 years, I
believe that Road Diet is often a polarizing term. When citizens walk into
the City Engineer’s office and ask for a road diet, the outcome they have
in mind is already clear, before any conversation takes place, and before
any analysis of the problem and data takes place. This can put
professionals on the defensive and drive them deeper into the comfort of
their automobile-centric training. It is like having the message delivered
on a note wrapped around a rock that hits them in the head.
[image: helpus] <http://www.andysinger.com/>
Credit: Andy Singer
Rightsizing, on the other hand, opens, rather than narrows, the
conversation. It avoids putting the transportation professional on the
defensive and shifts the conversation from debating the solution to working
together to define and then solve the problem. The decades of experience
vested in our professionals can then be applied to solving a different
problem: creating a road that serves all users, not just cars.
Much of the time, this will mean shrinking the road (aka putting it on a
diet). Almost all of the time, it will involve reallocating existing space
between the modes. Sometimes, we might all come to agree that the ‘right’
size could actually be an expanded roadway. In some circumstances, more
cars, trucks, transit, or pedestrians may demand more space. Hey—if we are
going to demand that our engineers have an open mind, then so should we,
right? After all, isn’t the ultimate goal to accommodate all users
adequately and safely, rather than to just shrink roads indiscriminately?
If the preferred solution is sensitive to all contexts and modes, and is
not smaller, that should be okay.
In accordance with this philosophy, what you will find in our new
Rightsizing guide is a depiction of all sorts of projects that recast roads
in order to accommodate all users. Changes described in the case studies
include not only vehicle lanes converted to bike lanes, sidewalks, and
medians, but also the creation of public spaces, and roundabouts in place
of traffic lights.
*Explore the Site, Help It Grow*
PPS hopes that this will be the beginning of a larger set of resources with
information on more projects that can lead to Livability and Streets as
Places. We want this to be a project created by and useful to
everyone—professionals, community members and advocates alike. We don’t
want this resource to be static as of January 2013; we invite any and all
of you to submit additional rightsizing case studies so that we can
continually expand our highlighted range of solutions for our streets.
*Click here to explore the resources in our Rightsizing Streets Guide, and
let’s make this approach standard practice!*<http://www.pps.org/rightsizing>
FYI...See response below from a colleague in CDC's National Center for Injury Prevention & Control.
Chris Kochtitzky, MSP
The NEISS data will capture this information for ED visits at a national level, but not at a sub-national level. Vital Statistics data should do the same for deaths but there are some limitations in ICD-10 coding for "road user type" (such that a large percentage are classified as "unknown road user type"). Both data sources can be queried here, and query options include a choice of injuries that occur in traffic, not in traffic, or both settings.
Laurie Beck, MPH
Please note part-time work schedule: Mon-Thurs, 8:30a-2:00p
From: h+t--friends-bounces(a)chrispy.net [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of h+t--friends-request(a)chrispy.net
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1. Re: bike injuries (mbrenman001(a)comcast.net)
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4. Re: A Data Question (Henderson, David (MPO))
5. Re: A Data Question (Henderson, David (MPO))
Date: Fri, 18 Jan 2013 17:03:34 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Re: [H+T--Friends] bike injuries
To: TRB Health and Transportation <h+t--friends(a)chrispy.net>,
Cc: meganwier(a)gmail.com, Rochelle Dicker <DickerR(a)sfghsurg.ucsf.edu>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"
I would submit that another likely cause for a rise in bike injuries is lack of attention to and compliance with rules of the road by bicyclists. Who among has not noticed bicyclists running red lights, not stopping for stop lights, weaving through traffic, not using hand signals, etc?
----- Original Message -----
From: "Rajiv Bhatia" <Rajiv.Bhatia(a)sfdph.org>
To: "TRB Health and Transportation" <h+t--friends(a)chrispy.net>
Cc: meganwier(a)gmail.com, "Rochelle Dicker" <DickerR(a)sfghsurg.ucsf.edu>
Sent: Friday, January 18, 2013 8:42:20 AM
Subject: [H+T--Friends] bike injuries
In SF, we have also observed a very high proportion of bike injuries going unreported. Rochelle Dicker, cc'd above and head of the SFGHMC trauma unit, has done some thinking and analysis on this issue using hospital records.
As you know, SF has had a fairly agressive bike infrastructure program with strong political support. Bicycling behavior has increased substantially over the past decade as evidenced by serial bike counts. Unfortunately, reported bike collision injury frequency almost doubled over the past 5 or
6 years despite the investments in bike facilities. Potential culprits here could be the co-location of bike facilities on arterials, newer riders, and the lack of reduction in vehicle traffic. The confluence of new infrastructure, growth in riders, growth in injuries suggest that SF may be a good place to study the safety effects of new bike infrastructure in an existing urban context.
Locally, we are also very interested in redesigning our traffic injury surveillence system to integrate hospital, police, and ambulence records and add public health / environmental surveillence components. There are some good models in other countries. We have political committment and data sharing agreements but lack $$ -- I am told that local transportation $$ coming to cities cannot be used for such purposes.
Rajiv Bhatia, MD, MPH
Director, Environmental Health, Department of Public Health
1390 Market Street, Suite 822
San Francisco, CA 94102
(t) 415 2523931
(w) www.sfenvironmentalhealth.org; www.sfphes.org
From: Ed Christopher <edc(a)berwyned.com>
To: TRB Health and Transportation <h+t--friends(a)chrispy.net>
Date: 01/17/2013 02:11 PM
Subject: [H+T--Friends] A Data Question Sent by: h+t--friends-bounces(a)chrispy.net
It was nice to see everyone at TRB. While there I was in a discussion about the probably that bike crashes that result in injuries might be under represented in our crash data. Especially when you consider that a high percentage of the crashes do not involve a motor vehicle and never make it to police records. If i were trying to get a handle on this at a regional or state level are there any "non-traditional" sources of data like hospital records that can be used. Anyone doing any work in this area?
This is becoming ever so important as we see more and mode shifting going on.
H+T--Friends mailing list
H+T--Friends mailing list
The Florida DOH Injury Surveillance Data System has county-level data on
fatal and non-fatal injuries in a variety of categories including Motor
Vehicle-Pedalcyclist (MV-P) and Pedalcyclist-Other (P-O). Statewide in
2010 there were 4,117 MV-P and 18,540 P-O non-fatal injuries. In other
words, there were 4.5 times more pedalcyclists injured from hitting
fixed objects, falling, and bike-bike collisions than from crashing with
a motor vehicle. The data also includes 24 pedalcyclist fatalities not
involving a motor vehicle. The policy implications include more cyclist
training, encouraging riding more often and awareness of the need for
properly functioning equipment, in addition to building safe streets and
other places to ride.
You can see the data under " Florida Injury Data: State and County" at
For complaints, questions or concerns about civil rights or
nondiscrimination, or for special requests under the American with
Disabilities Act, please contact: Elizabeth Rockwell, Public Involvement
Manager/Title VI Coordinator at (305) 375-1881 or erock(a)miamidade.gov
Date: Thu, 17 Jan 2013 16:41:50 -0500
From: Ed Christopher <edc(a)berwyned.com>
Subject: [H+T--Friends] A Data Question
To: TRB Health and Transportation <h+t--friends(a)chrispy.net>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
It was nice to see everyone at TRB. While there I was in a discussion
about the probably that bike crashes that result in injuries might be
under represented in our crash data. Especially when you consider that a
high percentage of the crashes do not involve a motor vehicle and never
make it to police records. If i were trying to get a handle on this at a
regional or state level are there any "non-traditional" sources of data
like hospital records that can be used. Anyone doing any work in this
area? This is becoming ever so important as we see more and mode
shifting going on.
I am out of the office until 01/22/2013.
I will be out of the office on 01/18/2013.
For immediate assistance, please contact the Cambridge Systematics phone
line at 510-873-8700.
Note: This is an automated response to your message "Re: [H+T--Friends] A
Data Question" sent on 1/18/2013 4:23:53 AM.
This is the only notification you will receive while this person is away.
This meeting may be of interest to those attending TRB next week:
The in-person meeting of the TRB Young Members Council - Planning and
Environment Subcommittee (YMC-PE) will take place next Tuesday 15
January from 10:15am to 12 noon EST at the Washington Hilton Hotel, Room
L'Enfant, as part of the 2013 TRB Annual Meeting.
In 2011, Young Members Council (YMC) at the Transportation Research
Board (TRB) was created in order to encourage and expand young
professional participation in all aspects of the TRB community. YMC aims
to serve every transportation professional aged 35 or under in advancing
the national transportation research agenda.
Also, if you haven't joined YMC's online community yet, please do so at
http://ymc.groupsite.com. This portal has information on 20 sessions
specifically geared towards young professionals and students at this
year's Annual Meeting. In addition, there are resources to keep you
involved with TRB and the fellow YMC colleagues throughout the year.
If you have any questions in the meantime, please don't hesitate to let
Joung Lee (jlee(a)aashto.org) or Tamara Cook (Co-chair, tcook(a)nctcog.org)
Greetings TRB Health and Transportation Subcommittee,
This call for papers may be of interest to you and your networks.
Call for Papers
2013 Transportation/ Land Use Planning and Air Quality Conference
Developing Healthy and Livable Communities
June/July, 2013 (TBD)
Charlotte, North Carolina
The Transportation Research Board Transportation and Air Quality Committee, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) T&DI Planning, Economics and Finance Committee, the Air and Waste Management Association, and the Federal Highway Administration and other sponsors are seeking papers for 20 sessions for the 2013 Transportation/ Land Use Planning and Air Quality (TLUPAQ) Conference. The TLUPAQ Conference has been held in the past at different locations including:
Danvers, Massachusetts, May, 1993
Lake Tahoe, California, August, 1997
Portland, Oregon, May, 1998
Lake Lanier, Georgia, November, 1999
Orlando, Florida, July, 2007
Denver, Colorado, July, 2009
San Antonio, Texas, May, 2011
The focus of the papers should be related to innovative research and strategies leading to the integration of transportation planning, land use and air quality. Our spotlight theme in 2013 will be Developing Healthy and Livable Communities.
We are interested specifically in papers related to the following topics: (1) smart growth implementation and evaluation; (2) scenario planning and livability design strategies; (3) intelligent transportation strategies and implementation; (4) climate change; (5) pricing strategies; (6) information systems; (7) MOVES model evaluations and data; (8) technological innovations; and (9) health impacts of land use and transportation decisions.
Paper/Extended Abstract Requirements: The conference proceedings will be produced by ASCE. All papers/extended abstracts must be submitted in Microsoft Word and must meet the ASCE conference proceedings paper format requirements. Each paper/extended abstract cannot exceed 10 pages (includes figures and tables) in length. Guidelines to submit papers can be found at the following web link:
Authors with a paper/extended abstract accepted for presentation and who wish to have their paper/extended abstract published in the conference proceedings will be required to complete a Copyright Transfer Agreement, a Permission Verification Form for Books and CD-ROMs (available at the above web link), and must register for the conference by Friday, April 26th, 2013. Note that extended abstracts are acceptable for those authors who do not wish to submit a full paper.
Paper/Extended Abstract Submittal Deadline: Draft papers or abstracts for the 2013 TLUPAQ Conference must be submitted electronically no later than Friday, February 8th, 2013. Each paper or extended abstract will be reviewed and comments will be provided to the author(s) by Friday, March 22nd, 2013. Authors will make any necessary revisions to the paper or extended abstract and resubmit the revised paper or extended abstract by Friday, April 26th, 2013. Papers or extended abstracts should be sent electronically to Srinivas Pulugurtha at SSPulugurtha(a)uncc.edu.
If you have any questions regarding the 2013 TLUPAQ Conference, please contact Jane Lin at janelin(a)uic.edu.