The Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) published a peer-reviewed technical article in the April 2013 issue of the Journal of Transportation. While wonkish, it demonstrates the background efforts SKA undertakes to achieve seemingly straightforward improvements to walkability. In this case it was on behalf of the Midtown Indy neighborhood of Indianapolis, for whom we prepared traffic calming, bicycle-pedestrian accommodations and urban design for its North Meridian Street-Westfield Boulevard-Central Canal Towpath intersection.
Our environmental report for this federal enhancements-funded project included recommendations that went well beyond that intersection since effective multimodal transportation management considers networks as systems. The published case study centered on one local street intersection located some distance from the focus project, but important for its role within the overall network of walkability. It’s interesting that the article’s publication occurs simultaneously with announcement by Smart Growth America / National Complete Streets Coalition that Indianapolis has placed first in the nation in that groups evaluation of Complete Streets policies for the Indianapolis Complete Streets Ordinance enacted in May 2012.
Andrew and Michael deserve much credit for making the case for this intersection improvement in 2010 in the absence of supporting methodologies at the time. And our friends in the Department of Public Works deserve kudos for accepting their logic before having the Complete Streets ordinance in place as policy. It goes without saying that ourMidtown Indy client (then known as HARMONI) energized SKA with its collective determination to make this neighborhood people- rather than auto-centered, and for being part of conversations that led to adoption of Complete Streets by the city’s leaders.
Authored by Michael Koslow, PE, John Kinsella, and Andrew Gast-Bray, Ph.D., AICP, CNU-A
Special thanks to Andy Lutz and Nathan Sheets from the Indianapolis Department of Public Works, John Wright from the Indiana Department of Transportation, and Cynthia Zweber-Free from the Midtown Indy neighborhood association, all of whom and whose organizations were supportive throughout the study.