TriMet now one of four transit providers that are also NACTO members

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) was formed as a counterweight to the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO). The group exists to promote more progressive and innovative street designs that reflect how Americans actually want to live in cities.

NACTO has 49 member cities and just announced three new transit agency members. Portland-based TriMet is one of them. Check the full press release below…

NACTO Welcomes New Transit Members, Reinforcing Transit’s Central Role on City Streets
New Transit Members in Seattle, Portland OR, and Miami-Dade County Join Peers in New York City and San Francisco

The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) today announced that Seattle’s King County Metro, Portland’s TriMet, and Miami-Dade County have joined NACTO as the association’s newest transit agency members, weeks after New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) joined the association. These four major transit providers join NACTO’s 49 member cities across North America working to build sustainable, equitable streets and transit networks.

As more people are choosing to live in cities across North America, cities and transit agencies are partnering to move more people in less space, and make sure all neighborhoods have the streets and transit access that they need. NACTO’s recently-released Transit Street Design Guide, created by this unique coalition, shows how putting transit at the heart of street design greatly expands the number of people a street can move, and unlocks street space to create more vibrant places for everyone.

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New report shows Portland falling further behind peers on bikeway growth

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward
growing bike networks

(Image: NACTO)

nacto report

While Portland celebrates a strong first day for Biketown, a new report about the factors that drive growth in bike sharing shows how Portland has fallen behind the leading U.S. cities in new infrastructure.

Minneapolis, New York City and San Francisco now have about 50, 20 and 15 percent more bikeways per square mile than Portland respectively, the report found. All three of those cities has seen faster bikeway growth than Portland since 2010, the year Portland passed its ambitious Bike Plan for 2030. In Minneapolis, bike infrastructure has grown three times faster.

These new figures were released Wednesday as part of a report by the National Association for City Transportation Officials, which examined the role quality bike networks play in making bike sharing safe and popular.

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Oregon is 8th state to officially endorse progressive street design guide

Screenshot 2015-10-13 at 10.26.39 PM

Key concepts in the NACTO guide.
(Photos: NACTO)

After a year and a half of lobbying, the Oregon Department of Transportation has formally recommended that its street designers look for ideas in one of the country’s most progressive bikeway design books.

The Urban Bikeway Design Guide by the National Association of City Transportation Officials was one of the country’s first official documents to include design elements like protected bike lanes, bike boulevards, floating bus stops and bike-specific traffic signals. Some of its concepts are already in Oregon’s in-house bikeway design guide, but NACTO has asked allied states and cities to endorse its guide in order to lend legitimacy to the designs in less progressive states.

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Does Oregon really need the NACTO guide?

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

The parking-protected bike lane near Portland
State University, from page 1-30 of ODOT’s
Bicycle and Pedestrian Design Guide.

On Monday, we highlighted a few bike ideas from around the country that Oregon might imitate, but so far hasn’t. One of them: formally endorsing the National Association of City Transportation Officials design guides.

But Jessica Horning, the transit and active transportation liaison for the Oregon Department of Transportation’s Region 1 (which contains the Portland metro area) replied to our question about this with a fair argument: Oregon’s in-house design guide is already really good.

Developed by practitioners in Portland and other cities around the country, the NACTO guides are a sort of professional Pinterest for human-friendly street designs such as protected bike lanes and traffic diverters. Images are well-annotated and informed by extensive research about safety and performance.

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Five new bike ideas from other places that Oregon could steal

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward
Share the Road - North Plains

Time for Oregon to stop “Share the Road”? (This sign is on NW West Union in North Plains, a small city in Washington County.)
(Photo J. Maus/BikePortland)

Over the last week or so, a bunch of great ideas from other cities have been washing up on our digital shorelines. Let’s take a look at a few.

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Three local agencies just endorsed these visions for better streets (Images)

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The NACTO Urban Street Design Guide’s suggestion of a healthy downtown roadway.
(All images by NACTO)

When it comes down to curbs and crosswalks, a great street is as much a product of design as a great mobile app: the process of moving safely through a city needs to be as intuitive as sharing a photo with your phone. If it isn’t, people won’t.

That’s why it’s exciting that a new urban street design guide has been getting big attention.

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Headed to New York City for ‘Designing Cities’ conference

Next Tuesday (10/23) I will head to New York City to attend the NACTO Designing Cities conference.

NACTO is the National Association for City Transportation Officials, a group that was formed as a counterbalance to AASHTO, the American Association of State and Highway Transportation Officials. In a nutshell, the folks behind NACTO (whose founders include several key PBOT engineers and other local experts) were sick and tired of being constrained by outdated guidebooks and AASHTO’s old-school (auto-centric) standards for transportation planning. They wanted a group that understand their urban issues and that could provide cities with the planning and engineering tools to design streets for the future — not have them shackled to priorities of the past.

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City transportation officials unveil Urban Bikeway Design Guide

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

Screenshot of NACTO’s new website.

The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) — a coalition of 15 major U.S. cities — announced the official launch of their long-awaited Urban Bikeway Design Guide today. The guide is a product of NACTO’s ‘Cities for Cycling’ initiative that debuted back in December 2009.

In a press release, New York City Transportation Commissioner and NACTO President Janette Sadik-Khan encouraged transportation engineers in cities across America to adopt the standards, saying the new design guide, “gives planners and designers the tools they need to get to the next level.” “These guidelines represent the state of the art and should be adopted as the new standard around the country.”

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Momentum grows for federal policy breakthrough that would fast-track bikeway innovations

Rose Quarter opening celebration-15

Bike boxes, like this one in the Rose
Quarter, aren’t endorsed by the FHWA… yet.
(Photos © J. Maus)

According to Mike Wetter, the Senior Advisor to Metro Council President David Bragdon, the U.S. Department of Transportation is on the verge of a decision that could rapidly speed up the use of innovative bikeway treatments across America. Among supporters of a change to the policy is a national association of city transportation planners and U.S. Congressman Earl Blumenauer.

Currently, due to outdated federal standards, many bikeway designs that are common in Europe and Canada — like bike boxes, colored pavement markings, bike-only signals, and buffered bike lanes — are still considered “experimental” in the U.S.. This lack of official endorsement by the FHWA means city planners cannot use federal funds to install them and they encounter a host of significant barriers when trying to implement them. Wetter, along with transportation planners at PBOT and cities across the country, think current policies are unfair to urban jurisdictions and they might finally be close to changing them.

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