The problems modern city streets face are as huge as ever. But these days, many of the best solutions are small. You can’t tweak a freeway. But a public plaza, a protected bike lane, a dedicated bus lane: these features of modern cities, unlike the projects we built two generations ago, can be made quickly and adjusted fast. So maybe it’s no surprise that, in the last decade, some U.S. cities have been creating new models for project delivery and implementation that rethink the bureaucratic processes developed during the freeway era. By rethinking the purpose of streets, U.S. municipalities are delivering improved safety, better economic performance, new transportation choices and a higher quality of life. They are doing so with new techniques that realign and reassign space on streets using paint and simple physical objects that can be cheaply purchased and quickly installed. Using these rapid implementation methods over the last several years, cities are creating heavily used bike networks, popular new public spaces and demonstrably safer streets for walking, biking, and driving. For organizations as big and complicated as local governments, creating a new process or procedure is difficult. But if you do it right, it can be revolutionary.
A QUICK-BUILD STREET PROJECT IS:
- Led by a city government or other public agency.
- Installed roughly within a year of the start of planning.
- Planned with the expectation that it may undergo change after installation.
- Built using materials that allow such changes.
Quick build solutions solve all 4 opportunity areas and more.
1. Increase Reliable Access
Protected bike lanes can be open year-round and will always be there with bike or scooter.
2. Expand Affordable Transportation Choices
Protected bike lanes offer a choice for folks who cannot afford a car and are too far for the bus.
3. Support Residents with Disabilities or Other Challenges
Facilities provide clear direction for ADA users and can make roads ADA compliant and accessible for the blind
4. Create Comfortable Journeys for Families
It is designed for all ages and abilities. We should feel comfortable letting our kids and grandparents ride.
This solves and set up the city for the future. We don't want to preclude us from options by installing curbs. We can allow space for smart sensors and curb management. We can allow space for green infrastructure and art.
This is a new model of community engagement. Rather than talking about potential projects at community meetings where we would look at paper plans, we use flexible materials that we can adjust based on the community's feedback.
The installation itself may be the beginning of the public outreach process. Sometimes we will have a quick demonstration and pop-up meeting in a neighborhood.
Crossroad Lab is the designer, engineer, and construction manager for the Better Bikeways Central San Jose. This is a 14-mile project covering over 60 intersections in the central part of San Jose. This region is constrained by 4 highways and the network will connect the downtown to Transit. The Connections are vital to developing neighborhoods and connections to Bart/Caltrain. Crossroad Lab had teamed with NACTO to develop Innovative design solutions using tactile materials. NACTO provides international expertise for innovative solutions. Crossroad Lab has developed the Final PS&E Package for the network in under 8 months. This is by designing protected bikeways using flexible posts and paint over curb and gutter. This project has over 20 fully protected intersections which are more than what currently exists in the country. Vignesh orchestrated extensive combining coordination, planning, and design efforts with a thorough work plan. Crossroad Lab and the City of San Jose have had meetings with all the stakeholders and decision-makers to develop a network in this short timeframe. This project developed standard details, best practices intersection configurations, that are to be replicated throughout the region. Crossroad Lab’s team of designers understand how to go from concept to PS&E that work.
This same model can be recreated in many cities, it will organize and include, transit, ADA, Protected bike lanes, Curb extensions, public art and more. We developed standard engineering details for all the facilities in our design toolbox. We vetted with city staff and the community. We drew the entire city at a 10% level of details and met with all the business, fire, event managers, Community based organizations, cultural groups to develop consensus on a block by block level. Then we worked with city maintenance crews and contractors to teach them how to install and maintain the facilities. Then we managed the construction reviewed the Cat-tracking and started the process over again. Crossroad Lab has years of experience in highway, roadway, parking, traffic control, and more. We have combined all of our expertise to develop a new delivery model. We have recreated this success throughout the bay and have the references and community to prove it. We look forward to bringing better streets to Indianapolis. Thank you for the opportunity to propose our new design-build delivery model.