The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) unveiled a new design manual for city streets in September, 2013. A blueprint for the 21st century streetscape, the Urban Street Design Guide demonstrates how streets of every size can be reimagined and reoriented as safe, sustainable public spaces for people walking, driving, biking, and taking transit. In cities, streets must serve multiple purposes, from storefront or doorstep to throughway. The Guide emphasizes the core principles for making urban streets great public places with an instrumental role in building communities.
NACTO invites cities, states and counties to endorse this new vision for world-class street design. Our goal is to secure as many endorsements as possible by May 1, 2014. This unified voice endorsing safe, active, and livable streets will push federal and state governments to recognize these state-of-the-practice strategies.
An invitation to sign on for safe, sustainable, and economically vibrant streets and cities
A letter from Janette Sadik-Khan, NACTO President
On behalf of the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) and my fellow transportation commissioners in cities around the nation, I invite you to join me in endorsing the NACTO Urban Street Design Guide as a leading resource for designing safe and economically vibrant streets in cities across the United States.
As transportation leaders, we find ourselves today in the midst of unprecedented change, as the demands placed upon our streets and the desires of our citizens have set in motion a new paradigm for and perception of the street itself. Pressures from public health to climate change to mobile technology are together reshaping and redefining our profession, while at the same time opening opportunities for innovation that were inconceivable only a decade ago.
City streets demand a unique approach unmet by conventional design guidelines. As Transportation Commissioner of New York City, one of my first efforts was to develop a comprehensive Street Design Manual tailored to the special characteristics of New York City streets. This effort has not only translated into a series of game-changing projects and initiatives, but has brought disparate agencies together around a common vision for safe and livable streets.
Now, we need this kind of guidance at the national level. These guidelines serve an indispensable role in planning modern city streets, especially as we work with our partners at all levels of government. Your endorsement of the Urban Street Design Guide will put us in the right direction. After our recent endorsement campaign for the Urban Bikeway Design Guide, USDOT Secretary Ray LaHood endorsed the Guide, and Federal Highway has since issued a memorandum recommending usage of its key design principles.
Join me in supporting the Urban Street Design Guide—a vision for world-class city street design that meets the goals of our city and state leaders and the desires of our communities.
Please submit endorsements for the Guide by adapting the attached letter template on official city letterhead by May 1, 2014. Any questions regarding the campaign or the Guide itself should be directed to David Vega-Barachowitz, Director of the Designing Cities initiative, at email@example.com or 212.839.6421.