83. Install Pedestrian Scale Lighting

The Far Northwest District in South Bend has several types of light fixtures; some old historic fixtures that add character, some large cobrahead lights tacked on to telephone poles.  One is suitable for neighborhoods and the other suitable for highways.  Aesthetics aside, using the appropriate lighting in different situations impacts the safety and ultimately the use…

82. Install Neighborhood Traffic Calming

Creating vibrant neighborhoods starts with making them a safe place for everyone.  While there are many large and small changes that could be made, traffic calming can have systemic benefits, including addressing equity. Victoria Transport Policy Institute: Traffic calming tends to increase horizontal equity by reducing the external costs imposed by motor vehicles and improving the…

80. Use Tree Lawns To Distinguish Neighborhoods

In creating neighborhoods with unique character, we don’t have to limit ourselves to tree lawn areas with just turf.  These areas can be more productive, more beautiful, and more functional if we create a set of standards beyond the typical treatment.    

79. Create Gateway Signage for Urban Neighborhoods

To expand on the neighborhood identity theme from yesterday’s post, physical gateways not only help aid wayfinding, but they also contribute to creating a sense of place.  They create links between people and place, as well as links between the different places within a whole city/district.  Additionally, physical gateways contribute to the overall curb appeal…

78. Reinforce City Neighborhood Identity Through Branding

The Chicago Neighborhoods have a great website dedicated to promoting their varied history and character.  Each neighborhood is given a unique logo which is used in various products, from t-shirts to posters, creating unity within the neighborhood and providing a great visual for visitors as well as potential residents. I know that this has happened…

77. Creating Walk Appeal

The ebb and flow of public space vs building in downtown areas creates an enjoyable walking experience called “walk appeal.”  The basic concept is how far we’ll walk is much about what we encounter along the way.  If we want to encourage vibrant, people-centric downtown experiences, then large open parking areas aren’t the way to…

76. Improve Quality of Alleys as Part of the Transportation Networks

Around the world, alleys have different names that convey a very different picture of their use.  From “laneways” to “little street”, alley’s don’t have to be relegated to just service for buildings. Overcoming the perception of unsafe, dirty, and claustrophobic corridors won’t happen overnight, but the way we describe them helps change that view. As…

75. Use Coverage as a Transportation Metric

When looking to measure the success of any project, performance metrics help determine the efficacy of what was done.  Measuring any project over time using these indicators shows both progress and opportunities to take iterative course corrections.  Often, quantitative measurements are used over qualitative ones, primarily because the former is more objective.  With transportation, the…

74. Develop TODs around existing infrastructure

So often with Transit Oriented Developments (TODs), municipalities stop short of fully embracing the opportunities because they don’t have light rail.  Taking a cue from the City of Bogota‘s TransMilenio BRT system, regional cities like Indianapolis are starting with buses to spur growth. As South Bend has invested in a new pedestrian friendly street system, incorporating…

73. Create Car Free Zones on Certain Days

“A woonerf is a street or square where cars, pedestrians, cyclists, and other local residents travel together without traditional safety infrastructure to guide them. Also sometimes called a “shared street,” a woonerf is generally free of traffic lights, stop signs, curbs, painted lines, and the like.” Prior to implementing any shared streets, cities should experiment…

72. Create a Park-n-Ride System for Transpo

Developing “commuter lots”, or park and ride, on the periphery of downtown to collect motorists before they arrive downtown improves use of public transit, reduces congestion in cities, and benefits both energy consumption and the health of cities.  Park and ride facilities, sometimes called incentive parking, are parking lots with public transport connections that allow commuters and…