Studio Cascade, Inc.

Helping communities dream, design and plan better futures. Loving every minute of it.

Roadway design: Context matters (and saves lives)

imageLike most businesses, our inbox fills up fast on Monday mornings, making it easy to overlook non project-specific messages.

But since much of our recent work has stressed  transportation design, and given our hometown’s current efforts to incorporate “complete streets” policy, this article from the Project for Public Spaces (PPS) definitely caught our eye.

“Exiting the ‘Forgiving Highway’ for the ‘Self Explaining Road’” begins a three-part series written by a Gary Toth, a 34-year veteran of the New Jersey Department of Transportation. In it, Mr. Toth compares the context-sensitive approach taken by Dutch agencies in designing transportation systems versus the “forgiving highway” ideology applied across-the-board in most US cities since the 1960’s. We’re all becoming familiar with the qualitative benefits good streetscape design can provide, but Mr. Toth’s coverage on lessons from the Netherlands, together with cited research from the Texas Transportation Institute, illustrates how designing all roadways primarily for cars may actually cost lives – up to 22,000 per year in the US.

Check out Mr. Toth’s PPS article here.