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Friday, November 27 2015 @ 08:51 PM UTC

The Next Generation DOT

Biking Elsewhere[B' Spokes: An overview of topics (with some highlights)]

by Charles Marohn, Streets Blog

We’ve been looking at the instincts of today’s transportation agencies. While on an individual level it is clear that these organizations are filled with people who are professional, competent and want to do the right thing, the institutional inertia is carrying them in wayward directions.

It is to those people that I offer my thoughts on the principles and understandings that a Next Generation DOT should embody when making that inevitable course correction.

1. Transportation spending is not economic development.
2. Transportation spending is not job creation.
3. We need to budget based on what we have, not what we want to do.

4. The most unsafe condition we can build is a STROAD. Our primary design goal must be to eliminate them.
A STROAD is a street/road hybrid. It is all too often the default design of our highway system. A STROAD combines elements of a street — intersections, turning traffic, dramatic speed differentials, parking, pedestrians — with the high speed geometries of a road. Professionally, we all understand that this is the most dangerous type of environment we could construct.

[B' Spokes: I'll note this concept even goes as far as trying to put freeway (where bikes and peds are prohibited) design elements in the urban environment where bikes and peds are frequently encountered. The most notorious is the right turn channel where motorists don't even have to stop.]

5. We must build differently within a city than we build outside of it.
6. We need to improve travel time by eliminating access points outside of cities.
7. We must stop using traffic projections to give a veneer of expertise to something we have proven incapable of doing: predicting the future.
8. We need to build transit, but only through a value capture funding approach.
9. We must remain humble in the face of adversity.

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