America has done a lousy job of creating a safe transportation system for walking and biking — and no state has botched it worse than Florida.
But to their credit, some officials at the Florida Department of Transportation are grappling with how to reduce the carnage. And if Florida c
an reform its streets and roads, any state can.
In an encouraging development, FDOT has formalized the idea that in urban areas, roads should be designed differently than in rural places. Chris McCahill and Rayla Bellis at the State Smart Transportation Initiative report on the agency’s state “context-based street design”:
As part of its Complete Streets Implementation, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) recently adopted eight context classifications to guide road design decisions. Under this new system, planners and engineers will consider existing and future characteristics such as land uses, building configuration, and street connectivity to ensure that roads are designed for the right vehicle speeds, road users, and trip types.
This new approach acknowledges that state roads often serve important local needs, such as when they run through town centers. According to FDOT, “the context classification provides an important layer of information that complements functional classification in determining the transportation demand characteristics along a roadway, including typical users, trip length, and vehicular travel speeds.” These classifications help determine whether an arterial roadway might need accommodations for pedestrians, bicycles, and transit users and whether it should have on-street parking, for example.
FDOT’s State Complete Streets Program Manager Dewayne Carver notes that “FDOT’s Complete Streets policy created a need to define context in a new way… The Department recognized early in our program that to provide ‘the right street in the right place’ we needed a more specific description of land use context.”
Click here to read the full article: http://usa.streetsblog.org/2017/10/03/will-floridas-new-approach-to-urban-streets-reduce-its-traffic-carnage/