AASHTO Recognizes Livable Communities

Wednesday, May 5 by JerryFoster

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials just published a guide to Livable Communities that included PennDOT’s use of the Smart Transportation Guidebook, which was developed with NJDOT and is a primary resource in the WWBPA’s recommendations for downtown Princeton Junction.

“Through a program called ?Smart Transportation,? Pennsylvania has been working to find innovative solutions to the challenges of constrained resources, aging highways and bridges, and congestion by reexamining the relationship between land use and transportation. One example is PennDOT?s U.S. Route 202 Parkway project in suburban Philadelphia. First envisioned as a new four-lane expressway between Doylestown and Montgomeryville, the project?s cost was simply not affordable. After an extensive consensus-building process, a lower-cost option to build a parkway-type design was approved at roughly half the original cost. The new Parkway included a 12-foot wide bicycle and walking path along its entire 8.4-mile length; concrete stamped , and painted to simulate the appearance of stone on all bridges, culverts, and retaining walls; and landscaped median strips and other aesthetic enhancements.

The Parkway will be built as four lanes for two miles and two lanes for six miles and speed limits will be lowered. Nine signalized intersections will replace three interchanges and slower speeds will help increase safety.”

There is also a section on Main Streets in the document, which can be found at:
http://downloads.transportation.org/LR-1.pdf

AASHTO is traditionally very motor-vehicle-oriented, so for them to recognize the role of context sensitive roadway design in making our communities more livable is a welcome sign of improvement.

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