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Utah Endorses NACTO Guidelines for Safe, Livable City Streets

Apr 29, 2014

The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) officially endorsed the NACTO Urban Street Design Guide, a vision for city street design that supports walking, biking, transit and public space, in addition to driving.

“As a department, we are committed to including active transportation, such as walking and biking, when planning and constructing projects on Utah’s roads,” said UDOT Executive Director Carlos Braceras. “The Urban Street Design Guide will be a helpful resource to make our streets safer and more livable for all users.” 

UDOT will include the Urban Street Design Guide in the state’s Acceptable Standards for Project Design Policy and Project Delivery Network as an additional resource for reference in city street design. The principles in the guide will help UDOT better manage the state’s growing transportation needs, improve air quality, and reduce congestion.

With their statewide endorsement, UDOT becomes the fourth State Department of Transportation to officially endorse the Guide, following Washington, Massachusetts, and California state DOTs. “We’re extremely encouraged by the burgeoning state-level support for flexible design standards,” remarked Linda Bailey, Executive Director of NACTO. “Utah’s recognition of the Urban Street Design Guide demonstrates that these guidelines are gaining traction among forward-thinking transportation departments.”

Designing safe, attractive city streets in Utah has a tremendous impact on quality-of-life, as the state’s population is highly concentrated in urban areas. According to Census data, 90% of Utahns live in urban areas on 1.1% of the state’s land, mostly along the Wasatch Front.

Salt Lake City, an affiliate member of NACTO, endorsed the Urban Street Design Guide in 2013 as a key guiding document that city leaders will consult when making changes to urban streets and public rights-of-way. On UDOT’s endorsement, Salt Lake City Transportation Director Robin Hutcheson said “Salt Lake City is looking forward to working with UDOT to implement the Urban Street Design Guide on our city streets. There is so much we can do in partnership, and our mutual goals will be well served by this collaboration.”

The endorsement campaign for the Urban Street Design Guide will run through May 1, 2014. Letters of endorsement and city council resolutions supporting the Guide are available on NACTO’s website at Cities, states and counties interested in endorsing the Guide should contact David Vega-Barachowitz, Director of the Designing Cities initiative, at [email protected] or 646.628.3337.