CNU’s Sustainable Street Network Principles
The Congress for the New Urbanism has long recognized that the street network is a fundamental part of human civilization because it serves as the setting for both commerce and culture. For the first time, CNU has compiled a set of principles and key characteristics of the sustainable street network into a document that is practical, inspirational, and beautifully illustrated. Read more about CNU’s national innitiative and download your copy of the new document here.
Around the Atlanta Region, many municipalities are placing a renewed emphasis on the importance of street connectivity. The City of Atlanta’s most recent Comprehensive Transportation Plan (The Connect Atlanta Plan) identifies many potential connections that promise to repair the street grid within the City. The image at left is a concept that reinvisions the circuitous ramps curenlty leading from Interstate 75/85 to Freedown parkway as a more traditional diamond configuration. This transformation would allow the existing auto-only Freedom Parkway bridge to become a freindlier multi-modal connection over the Downtown Connector (I-75/85).
Throughout the larger metropolitan region, many communities are also embracing increased connectivity within their own town centers and activity centers. Through the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Livable Centers Innitiative (LCI), many communities have created intergated land use and transportation plan where a of the fundemental goal is to improve connections for all users. In some cases, these plans call for incorporating new connections as part of a larger development while in other cases new complete streets have been envisioned as retrofits within existing communities. Read more about ARC’s LCI program.
The Transportation Investment Act and CNU Atlanta
On July 31st, 2012 residents in the 10-County Atlanta region will have the opportunity to vote on a 1 cent sales tax that will fund transportation projects within the region. Given both the scale of this investment and the central role that transportation plays in our communities, the Board for the Atlanta Chapter of the Congress for the New Urbanism thought it necessary to identify some of the key points regarding the proposed referendum as they may relate to our organization’s charter.
CNU’s 2012 Freeways Without Futures List
As cities grapple with rising infrastructure costs and constrained finances, removing costly freeways with value-adding surface streets is gaining recognition. Boulevard conversions are now seen as a cost-effective, practical alternative to rebuilding expensive expressways.
CNU’s 2012 Freeways Without Futures list identifies urban freeways that have the most potential to be transformed from broken liabilities to vibrant assets that support valuable places. Read more.
Emergency Response and Street Design Initiative
In recent years, new urbanists and firefighters have discovered both common interests and shared challenges in neighborhood street design.
The Emergency Response & Street Design Initiative, a collaboration between the Congress for the New Urbanism, fire marshals from across the United States, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Smart Growth program, is working to reconcile narrower streets and good emergency access. Street connectivity — specifically well-connected networks of traditional street grids — is essential to good urbanism, shortens emergency response times, and improves overall community life safety. Read more.