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Executive Summary

Understanding Agency Structures

Agency Accelerators

Next Steps for Green Light for Great Streets


City transportation departments often work in tangibles: transit lane miles built, bike share stations per square mile, length of pedestrian crossing distances.

Just as important as these on-the-ground, measurable elements, are the internal procedures that plan, design, and build them. The public agencies and processes responsible for advancing city transportation agendas are the focus NACTO’s 2018 report, Green Light for Great Streets. This report explores the structural challenges facing transportation agencies and the processes that cities can use to achieve more results, faster.

The report summarizes two phases of NACTO’s work: a comprehensive assessment of the responsibilities, capabilities, and resources of transportation departments across the U.S., conducted May 2017 through June 2018, and in-depth “Agency Accelerator” work in two NACTO member cities, San José and Pittsburgh, which applied findings from this assessment.

About The Guide

Between June 2017 and June 2018, NACTO explored structural challenges transportation agencies face when working to improve safety and livability on their streets. Through this project, NACTO uncovered patterns and opportunities that cities often use to get more done, faster.

As a result of this project, NACTO found that there are clear markers of success within agencies that are most effective at delivering projects:

  • Defined and clear processes for implementation, and well-informed staff
  • Recurring or guaranteed funding sources
  • Project pipelines built around standardized designs that allow cities to expedite work
  • A strategic use of consultants to bolster efforts or train on unusual skills
  • A clear vision, strong political will, and defined metrics for success

Read the report (pdf) >>

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