CNU Holds CSS Trainings in Chicago

Heather Smith's picture

CNU continues to challenge engineers, designers, and planners to create streets that add economic value. Through a grant from the Searle Funds at the Chicago Community Trust, CNU hosted two transportation workshops for local engineers, designers, and planners, training attendees how to effectively use the CNU/ITE Designing Walkable Urban Thoroughfares manual. Over 100 planners, engineers, and policy makers attended two one-day workshops February 7-8 at the CMAP offices in Chicago.

Rock Miller, past president of ITE, opened Thursday’s training. He explained why standards always work using a four lane divided highway where bicycles are frequent and cars often pull over: The Pacific Coast Highway. Safety is often the most common reason why Departments of Transportation around the country rigidly adhere to standards. However, “standards don’t assure safety”, Miller stated, demonstrating the importance of planning for all users: drivers, transit, pedestrians, cyclists, and others.

Norman Garrick echoed this point by defining vulnerable road users as “those to take to the street without armor”, to quote Stephen Plowden. That was just the beginning.


Over the two day training, attendees analyzed two corridors ripe for redevelopment in Alsip, IL and Blue Island, IL to help educate users as well as assist in implementing CMAP’s GOT02040 regional plan.

The first day was geared mostly to Illinois Department of Transportation staff, and the second was geared to municipal and county transportation and municipal planners. Response from the audience was overwhelmingly positive, as many attendees valued the group exercises, which forced teams to measure the inevitable tradeoffs in planning for business owners, bikers, and pedestrian users.

We at the Congress for the New Urbanism hope this exercise will make streets safer and allow communities to provide a range of streets that add value for all users. There will be more news to come on this training. Visit for a complete list of presentations, agendas, and more from the training.


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