Friday, September 2, 2011

Livable Streets

In August, 2011 MoDOT in Kansas City hosted the Livable Streets Design Workshop led by nationally known expert Bruce Landis.

On Aug. 25, architects, engineers and planners from MoDOT and communities across the Kansas City District sat down as one transportation group to talk about what it means to build Livable Streets at the Best Practices in Bicycle Pedestrian Design workshop.

Across the country, more communities recognize that drivers are not the only type of transportation, and in fact, more citizens request the safe sidewalks, bike routes and transit options that fit their lifestyle.

In May, the Missouri House of Representatives passed the Complete Streets Resolution, urging cities, communities and state transportation to consider bikers, pedestrians and transit users whenever they planned transportation projects. The Best Practices in Bicycle Pedestrian Design workshop, hosted in partnership with MU Extension, focused on just that -- making streets that accommodate any mode of transportation.

The all-day workshop featured internationally known Bicycle and Pedestrian Planner and Engineer Bruce Landis. His presentation included strategies to make neighborhoods, retail districts and other community settings more walkable, bikable and accessible to all.

“This program was designed to let planners look at a street objectively and see, based on what is going on in the roadway environment, exactly how to design a livable street,” said Landis.

One of the things discussed was what makes a street more livable? It could be as simple as sidewalks and crosswalks. But planners also consider wheelchair ramps, bicycle paths, mixed-use paths that may host joggers and dog walkers alike, bus stops, or even paved shoulders in a rural area.

Several locations joined the workshop via webinar, including Jefferson City, St. Louis District Office, Northeast District, Southeast District Office, Northwest District Office, Southwest District Office and Macon.