Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Looking outward as well as inward in transportation planning

While they don't use the term sustainable transportation, which I think is a better term theoretically than "enhancing choice" to discuss why transit, bicycling, and walking need to be supported in the context of the State of Wisconsin Transportation Plan, there is no question that the State of Wisconsin Department of Transportation is looking outward, not just inward, in terms of forward planning.

From Transportation in Wisconsin... a vision for the 21st Century:

The quality of life of all Wisconsin residents is greatly influenced by the state’s transportation system. Everything—from our daily commute to work, to the food we eat, to the merchandise we purchase, to the area in which we choose to live—is greatly affected by the transportation decisions made at the state and local level.

Wisconsin enjoys an outstanding transportation system, but to ensure that the system is able to continue to support and improve our quality of life and strong economy, we will have to address many transportation needs in the new millennium. ...

[3 items from the list of 10 critical needs]

 Nearly 750 people died on Wisconsin roadways during the past year. This number could rise to over 1,000 by 2020 if the current fatality rate remains the same.

 In many areas of the state there are a lack of transportation choices available to the general public.

 It is essential that environmental concerns are adequately addressed when making short- and long-term transportation decisions.

For example, citizens should have access to a transportation system that allows them to choose whether they want to drive, take the train, ride the bus, bike or walk. Our system currently provides people with some choices beyond automobiles, but we need to expand and improve those choices to respond to the growing demand from those who can not, or choose not to drive. A recent government study estimated that over a third of households in southeastern Wisconsin currently do not have an automobile. These individuals need to be provided accessible and affordable alternative forms of transportation to carry out their daily activities. Looking into the future, by 2020 the number of state residents over 65 is projected to increase by over 50%. This aging of the population will require more choices of transportation including intercity bus, rail, pedestrian, and bicycle travel. To respond to these needs, the state must give strong consideration to modes of transportation other than highways when considering the future needs of its residents. ...

In the future, perhaps an even greater challenge will be trying to determine the right funding mix to further integrate our transportation system (i.e. highways, buses, rail, bikeways, pedestrian accommodations, etc.). It is a constant struggle for the state to determine the appropriate combination that will best suit the needs of both urban and rural residents.

Only by identifying and discussing the conflicts can we begin to resolve them. And these are conflicts that exist simultaneously at all levels of government: local; regional; state; multi-state; and national.

Also see this article from the Green Bay Press-Gazette, "Plan looks at transit needs in the future: DOT's Connections 2030 includes projects in area."

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