City streets can be one of the more hectic places you can find yourself on a given day as buses, trucks, cabbies, bikers, and pedestrians on foot all try and navigate their way from place to place using a shared space. City streets can often times look like human versions of coral reefs, but, unlike our aquatic counterparts, humans do not key their movements off of the closest neighbors; while schools of fish all turn together in mesmerizing motions and patterns, humans prefer the chaos of independence.
The more crowded cities become, the more apparent it is that something needs to be done to improve the flow of all types of traffic along the streets. As such, the National Association of City Transportation Officials created the Transit Street Design Guide, which, as CityLab reports, uses insights from 18 different transit agencies and officials and practitioners in 45 North American cities in an effort to detail how to create the most efficient streets for the future.
From this design guide, CityLab has compiled a list of seven main ideas. The first of these main ideas suggests separating transit from standard traffic. If transit is stuck in automobile traffic, then what is the purpose? Shouldn’t public transportation be helping to ease congestion, not add to it? Creating bus only lanes will help improve safety and efficiency for everyone.
The streets can’t just focus on vehicles, though. Pedestrians are a critical factor, as well. There needs to be an increased amount of pedestrian crossings and the distance between these crossings should be shortened and, again, creating separate lanes for pedestrians and bike traffic can help to ease congestion.
Other solutions are to not just design solutions for downtown, make streets accessible for all, and emphasize sustainability. The main goal is to make the streets of the future as safe, efficient, and simple as possible.
For the full list of main ideas from the Transit Street Design Guide follow the link below.