CNU/ITE manual is a map through paradigm shift

Friday’s concurrent session, CNU and the ITE Manual, asked a simple question: Can new urbanists work with engineers to shape future road design and meet the Charter’s principles? The answer, of course, is yes – though in this case, getting from A to B still isn’t quite complete, since the manual in question, Context Sensitive Solutions in Designing Major Urban Thoroughfares for Walkable Communities, remains in draft form as a proposed recommended practice.

The document, a joint production of the Congress for the New Urbanism and the Institute of Traffic Engineers, drew more than 800 comments during its 1-year comment period – and all those comments require a response, said James M. Daisa, senior project manager for Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc.

Daisa and fellow panelist Lucinda Gibson, a principal with Smart Mobility, Inc., agreed that the sooner the document becomes a full-blown recommended practice, the better.

Context Sensitive Solutions is a map to guide civil and traffic engineers through the paradigm shift of “Function” to “New Urbanism,” which Gibson said encompasses a shift within cities from freeways to boulevards, arterials to avenues, and “dead worms” of commercial strips to livable streets. The CNU/ITE manual is aimed at the arterials-to-avenues level , she added.

The manual is also an opportunity to reform the mission of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials toward mobility and a choice of mobility with the lowest fossil fuel consumption, Gibson said.

“There is a real opportunity to rethink whether we need to reinvest all this money in freeways,” she said. ‘This is a dead end system of transportation.”

Brian Bochner, a senior engineer at the Texas Transportation Institute, served as the session’s moderator.

For more information about this CNU initiative, visit the CNU/ITE Street Design Manual page.


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