Kansas City's "Trails KC Plan" Honored by the American Planning Association
Alta congratulates the City of Kansas City, MO for receiving an Outstanding Plan Award for its "Trails KC Plan" from the Missouri Chapter of the American Planning Association. A collaboration between TranSystems and Alta Planning + Design, this plan builds on Kansas City's historic interlocking system of parks and boulevards and its newer parks, boulevard and pedestrian plans and riverfront redevelopment efforts. The Trails Master Plan defines a strategy for regional, City-wide non-motorized connections in this metropolitan area of nearly two million people.
The plan also won a Planning and Analysis Award from American Society of Landscape Architects - Prairie Gateway Chapter in early 2009.
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Portland Bicycle Plan for 2030 Launches New Era of Bikeway Investments
Alta congratulates the City of Portland for its unanimous adoption of The Portland Bicycle Plan for 2030 on February 11th. The vote came with a $20 million commitment for immediate investments in family-friendly bike boulevards.
Alta was proud to work with the City of Portland to manage the public outreach process for Phase 1 and co-develop cutting edge tools like the Bikeway Quality Index and Cycle Zones Analysis (CZA), now being used in communities like Tacoma WA; Albuquerque, NM; and Vancouver and Victoria, BC. In the last year of the planning process, Alta CEO Mia Birk served as the co-chair of the steering committee and a close advisor.
For close to 20 years, Portland has been investing in bikeways and encouragement activities and is reaping the benefits. The results:
The Bicycle Plan for 2030 builds upon these two decades of progress. It calls for a network of family-friendly, low-stress bikeways that will complement the existing system. Bike parking, family events like Sunday Parkways, and more opportunities for kids to bike to school are key parts of the plan. It is in tune with Portland's other plans, makes the health-transportation link, creates opportunities for off-road cycling, embraces the bicycle-business connection, and will fully integrate bicycling with transit.
- Only cost ~1% of the City's transportation budget
- Bicycling increased to 6.4% of the daily commute
- Around 17% of Portlanders regularly bicycle for transportation
- Safety has improved
- Close to 13% of the vehicles on four downtown bridges are bicycles
- A growing $90 million local bicycle-related industry supplies 1000 green job
For more information, go to: http://bikeportland.org/2010/02/11/the-bike-plan-live-from-city-council/ or The Portland Bicycle Plan for 2030.
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Way to Go! Marin County Wraps Up Another Successful Year
Last year, Marin County (CA) residents celebrated the second year of Way to Go!, a program designed to encourage walking, bicycling, and public transit use while reducing auto trips in target communities. In 2009, 6,500 households in Novato and Larkspur were invited to participate. They received customized information packets (Go Kits) - delivered to homes by bicycle - and electronic newsletters including resources and information on walking, bicycling, and taking transit in and around Marin County.
|Local docent Edna Manzoni begins the Novato Historic Downtown Stroll by telling the history of the Powell's Sweet Shoppe building. |
"This is a brilliant way to get all the information we need. Thank you for putting it together!" -DaryResidents were also invited to eight special events throughout the summer. The four guided walks, two guided bicycle rides, one guided ferry transit trip, and one transit and bicycling workshop drew many local participants. Community members helped lead many of the events, including popular historic tours and nature walks.
|Target area residents could order Go Kits containing their choice of materials regarding walking, bicycling, and transit, plus a free gift. |
"This is great. My family will really enjoy getting out and walking and riding bikes on the trails that we don't know about!" -TeleathaParticipants told us that they loved the Way to Go! 2009 program and that it motivated them to walk, bicycle and take transit more often. Alta's team is hard at work on this year's program, which will serve residents in San Rafael, CA. For more information on Way to Go! or the federally-funded WalkBikeMarin effort, visit www.walkbikemarin.org.
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Easley, SC Takes First Steps in Implementing its Bicycle/Pedestrian Plan, with Big Plans for the Future
The City of Easley passed its Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan with unanimous consent earlier this month. The $10 million plan calls for long-term measures, with an implementation plan that could stretch over 20 years. Because funding is limited, the City will take a small steps approach, beginning with the restriping of two recently resurfaced roads with Easley's first bike lanes and sharrows. The South Carolina Department of Transportation also gave its tentative approval to several road diet concepts.
|SC 135 is a four-lane undivided roadway. Alta's proposed road diet would increase safety for cyclists and drivers, while a pedestrian refuge island and streetscape enhancements facilitate crossings and benefit the pedestrian environment. |
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Waterbury, CT Celebrates the Release of the Naugatuck River Greenway Plan
In the 19th and 20th Centuries, the Naugatuck River served as an industrial route, slicing through the State of Connecticut. What remains are abandoned brass and copper mills and numerous Superfund sites that have killed all life within the river. Flowing through the "Brass City" of Waterbury, the valley is nearly invisible and inaccessible to the surrounding communities, and includes virtually no publicly-owned land. In the face of these challenges, the City engaged a nine month feasibility study to identify the river valley's potential use as a recreational greenway corridor, leading to a plan widely supported by advocates, the community, the City, the Congressional delegation and numerous property owners along the proposed route.
|Alta Principal Jeff Olson and Waterbury DPW director John Lawlor paddling the Naugatuck River in Waterbury CT |
The Waterbury, CT Naugatuck River Greenway Plan was celebrated last week with a reception at the Mattatuck Museum, attended by a cross section of community leaders, landowners, the media, elected officials and citizens. They now have a vision of the Greenway in their future. The final plan can be viewed here.
|"Thanks to...the entire Alta team, we ended up with a truly superb study. You all went above and beyond the call of duty on this...the final product is something to be proud of. The graphics, maps and photos came out beautifully in the final report. Your expertise, guidance, and passion for this project will benefit generations of Waterburians." -Terry Calderone, City of Waterbury, Deputy Mayor |
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Minneapolis' Midtown Greenway Coalition Urges Support for Controversial Greenway Corridor
Minneapolis' Midtown Greenway Corridor is the potential site for a controversial plan to relocate high-tension transmission lines and substations, and has been envisioned as a linear park and spine for transit-oriented development. It is already one of the premier bicycle routes in Minneapolis.
|The Midtown Greenway is a car-free transportation corridor used by thousands of people every day. |
The Midtown Greenway Coalition asked Alta's strategic partner Community Design Group (CDG) to produce a video highlighting potential impacts to bicycle transportation, parkway, and Transit Oriented Development potential along this highly-loved corridor. CDG staff developed a three minute documentary used by the Coalition to explain and communicate the issues to citizens, policymakers, and other interested parties. The documentary has helped move community members, utility representatives, and elected officials to work constructively towards a solution. You can view the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bk8uDXeUZx4
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Alta's Recent Publications & Presentations
Here's a selection of recent and upcoming publications and presentations. For a full list of available documents produced by Alta, check out the Presentations & Studies section of our website.
Aquascalientes, Mexico Addresses Transportation Issues at International Design Workshop
Aguascalientes, a prosperous and historic central Mexican city of 700,000 residents has been recently facing issues related to expansion of its urban area even as it vigorously works to develop sustainable, non-motorized transportation options for its citizens.
|Michael Jones and panel discussing design recommendations for non-motorized transportation in the City of Aguascalientes. |
The municipality and CTS Mexico (an NGO working on sustainable transportation issues in the country) invited Alta Principal Michael Jones and strategic partner Antonio Rosell from Community Design Group to provide bicycle and pedestrian-oriented design review and recommendations for a new 40,000 resident affordable housing project located seven miles outside of the city center.
The recommendations, completed after an intense round of design workshops, were shared at a press conference attended by the city's Mayor, the heads of the city's planning and housing development departments, local developers, members of citizen boards, and members of the media. Michael closed the design team's presentation with a Spanish-language summation of the work and its goals to a receptive and appreciative audience. Alta and Community Design Group are continuing work on the recommendations.
Portland State University's Initiative for Bicycle Pedestrian Innovation Professional Development Course | Bikeway Facility Design, June 3, 2010
This is a highly interactive course that will cover the planning and design of on-street bikeway facilities and how to integrate them into existing and new collector and arterial streets. The course includes both classroom and on-bike experiential learning, relying on the experience of Portland - the #1 large city for cycling in the U.S. Participants will gain knowledge and proficiency in the application of different types of bikeway facilities. Material will include the planning, design, implementation, and maintenance of various types of bicycle facilities including:
The course will cover the principles of
- Shared Lanes
- Bike lanes
- Bike Boulevards
- Shoulder Treatments
- Cycle Tracks
- Bicycle Boxes (aka Advanced Stop Lines)
Who should attend
- Bikeway facility selection
- Integrating bikeways into roadway design
- Retrofitting existing streets
- Intersection design
- Bicycle parking
Professionals who are planning, designing or advocating for bicycle and pedestrian networks at the community or regional level.
Rob Burchfield, PE, is the City Traffic Engineer for the Portland Bureau of Transportation. He has 25 years of municipal experience and has worked extensively with the design and operation of urban streets for bicyclists and pedestrians.Roger Geller has been Portland, Oregon's Bicycle Coordinator since 2000 and has been with the city's Bicycle Program since 1994. He has 15 years of experience managing bicycle capital, planning and policy projects.
This course is sponsored the Initiative for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation (ibpi) at Portland State University and the City of Portland. IBPI promotes pedestrian and bicycle travel through research, education and outreach.
The fee for this professional development course is $295. This includes morning coffee, snacks, lunch, and course materials. The fee does not include travel, lodging or other meals while in Portland.
Registration will open the week of March 8. Please visit us at http://www.ibpi.usp.pdx.edu/professional.php
For more information
Contact the IBPI at email@example.com or 503-725-4024.
Metro Washington Council of Governments | Bicycle Pedestrian Sub Committee Discusses Implementation of Innovative Bicycle Facility Designs in U.S. Cities
Many cities across the country are interested in implementing bicycle facilities that are not included in current design guidelines, like bike boxes, colored bike lanes, and cycle tracks. These facilities have been installed in U.S. cities using designs based on existing facilities in other countries; and engineers, planners and designers have been interested in learning more about these facilities. Last month Alta Principal Steve Durrant led a discussion about these innovative bicycle facility projects, citing international examples, NACTO Cities for Cycling emerging best practices, as well as an overview of the process that is used by the Federal Highway Administration when considering whether to add new facilities to the MUTCD.
|Innovative treatments like bike boxes increase the visibility of bicyclists and allow them to enter/clear the intersection before motor vehicles. |
National Bike Summit 2010 - Building on 10 Years of Progress
Bicycling has come a long way in the last 10 years. Our movement has grown larger and more effective, and the number of people riding is growing in almost every community in the nation. We need more people on bikes more often, and the reasons just keep on growing. Whether it's obesity, health care, climate change, air quality, energy independence, traffic congestion, economic development or quality of life issues - bicycling has got to be part of the solution. In 2010, Congress and Federal agencies will be setting national targets and goals for 2020. They will be writing transportation, climate, health care, natural resources, and other critical pieces of legislation that will shape our future. Bicycling must be prominently featured in these important pieces of legislation, documents, funding streams, and programs.
Ten years ago, the first National Bike Summit brought just over 100 advocates and industry leaders to Washington, D.C. - this year we need to be closer to 1,000 participants to make a strong impact. Join us and speak up for bicycling; discover how your voice can truly be heard. Help the League of American Bicyclists celebrate 10 years of progress, and help us propel into a new decade of the bicycle!
Click here for more information and to register.
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Alta Planning + Design is pleased to announce that Mia Birk has been made Chief Executive Officer. Alta's Founder and former CEO, Michael Jones, will continue to play a major role in strategic development of the firm. Birk has been the Portland-based company's Chief Financial and Operating Officer for the past five years, and has been with the company for 11 years. She is also an Adjunct Professor at Portland State University, teaching Pedestrian and Bicycle Issues for graduate students in urban planning. She is a former or current board member of the Association for Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals, Cycle Oregon, the Community Cycling Center, Portland Oregon Sustainability Institute, Abernethy Foundation, and Transportation Research Board Bicycle Committee. Birk was the Portland Bicycle Program Manager from 1993-99, where she managed and implemented the City's award-winning Bicycle Master Plan. Her forthcoming book Joyride: Pedaling Toward a Healthier Planet, is part career memoir, part insider history of Portland's evolution into the nation's most bicycle-friendly city, and part primer on how to empower people and transform communities, one pedal stroke at a time.
Alta also announces that Steve Durrant has been promoted to Principal. Durrant is a landscape architect with over 30 years experience in park, trail, and greenway planning and design, and planning for urban transit projects and urban waterfronts. His work includes award-winning park, trail, transit, and bicycle transportation projects across the country and in Canada, Korea, and Taiwan. In addition to his leadership role in landscape architecture and bicycle transportation planning, Durrant supervises Alta's practice in the Midwest. He is a board member of The Waterfront Center, an international non-profit organization working for public access, quality design and economic vitality on urban waterfronts worldwide.
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Alta welcomes Senior Associate Allan Calder, Senior Designer Sam Corbett and Designer Maya Agarwal!To see our full Staff and Office directories, visit altaplanning.com.
Allan Calder is the latest addition to our Benicia office, bringing 18 years of professional planning and design experience to Alta. As a licensed Landscape Architect (Colorado), a certified planner (AICP), and a LEED Green Associate, Allan maintains an interest in trail and greenway networks, smart growth principles, transit-oriented development techniques, and contemporary construction methods incorporating Bicycle Master Plans. In addition to his passion for bike riding, he been a member of the South End Rowing Club in San Francisco for the past 20 years, has swam from Alcatraz to San Francisco numerous times, swam from San Francisco to Marin under the Golden Gate Bridge, and completed several Escape from Alcatraz Triathalons.
Sam Corbett recently joined Alta's San Diego office with more than ten years of experience as a transportation planner and manager. Sam previously worked in the public sector, specializing in transportation demand management, pedestrian and bicycle planning, program development, transportation system improvements, survey design and analysis, implementation and evaluation techniques, and public outreach and communication strategies. Sam also has five years of experience working as a transit planner for a transportation planning and engineering firm in both New York City and Oakland, CA. He brings a unique combination of planning and operational skill sets from working extensively in both the public and private sectors. Sam is skilled at producing "real world" solutions and assisting clients with the implementation process. Sam is an avid bicycle commuter and long distance runner, having run the Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Big Sur and San Diego Rock 'n Roll marathons.
Maya Agarwal joined our Charlotte, NC office, with experience that spans fours years in landscape architecture and greenway planning. Prior to joining Alta, she worked in China at a landscape architecture firm where she was involved in residential, park, streetscape, and commercial projects. She also worked at an engineering firm in Charlotte, NC, where she further developed her skills in Photoshop and AutoCAD while working on residential and commercial projects. Maya was first introduced to the concept of a "greenway" while at graduate school in Minneapolis, and she quickly became an avid fan and user of the Grand Rounds trail system. As a greenway planner with Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation, she worked with stakeholder groups to ensure that greenways are included in plans, and educated the local community about greenways and their benefits. Maya has also secured funding for greenway projects, and educated the public about greenways through presentations to neighborhood organizations and schools. She is very excited to take her pedestrian/bicycle planning and design skills to another level at Alta.
More recent additions to the Alta team:
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