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Road Design. Susan Handy TTP Orientation Seminar October 2009. Topics. Network design Facility design. Network Design. What are the two main purposes of streets/roads/highways? What’s the main difference between streets vs. roads vs. highways?.

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Road design

Road Design

Susan Handy

TTP Orientation Seminar

October 2009


  • Network design

  • Facility design

Network design
Network Design

  • What are the two main purposes of streets/roads/highways?

  • What’s the main difference between streets vs. roads vs. highways?

Benefits of grid
Benefits of grid…?

  • More direct routes

    • Less distance

      • Less driving (?)

        • Less pollution, energy consumption, noise, etc.

      • More walking/biking

        • More exercise, less weight, better health, etc.

    • Better efficiency

      • Emergency response time

      • City services


Berkeley diverters
Berkeley Diverters


Village homes davis
Village Homes, Davis

Source: Google Maps

Davis Greenbelt System

Houten, Netherlands

Source: Google Maps

Source: Google Maps

Facility design
Facility Design

  • Responsibility for building:

    • City/County: local streets, collectors, arterials

    • State: highways, freeways

  • Influence on professional practice:

    • Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE)

    • American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)





Innovations trends

  • Traffic Calming

  • Skinny Streets

  • “Complete the Streets”

  • Context-Sensitive Design

  • Others…

Traffic calming
Traffic Calming

"Traffic calming is the combination of mainly physical measures that reduce the negative effects of motor vehicle use, alter driver behavior and improve conditions for non-motorized street users."

- ITE Subcommittee on Traffic Calming


Traffic Circles



Narrow street scenarios
Narrow Street Scenarios






42-48’,13,Narrow Street Scenarios

Narrow streets
Narrow Streets

Canyon Rim Village, Medford,11,Narrow Streets

Sustainable Streets…are rights of way designed and operated to create benefits relating to mobility, ecology and community that support a broad sustainability agenda...

Marcy McInelly, SERA/Urbsworks

Sustainable street design
Sustainable Street Design

  • Network design: alignment, sizing, connectivity

  • Allocation of right of way space

  • Component design: paving, landscape, lighting, furnishings

  • Sub-grade engineering and design

Marcy McInelly, SERA/Urbsworks

Beyond street design
Beyond Street Design

  • Planning, Policy and Institutional Activities

  • Construction

  • Operations & Management

  • Maintenance, Restoration & Repair

Marcy McInelly, SERA/Urbsworks

Movement ecology community

Pillars of Sustainable Streets

Movement Ecology Community

Photo: Marcy McInelly, SERA/Urbsworks

Marcy McInelly, SERA/Urbsworks

Riverfront Parkway and

Downtown Streets, Chattanooga, TN

Roadway Modifications

Image: City of Chattanooga and River City Company

Riverfront Parkway, Chattanooga, TN

“Before” Conditions

Image: City of Chattanooga and River City Company

Reconstructed Riverfront Parkway

Image: City of Chattanooga

Context sensitive design
“Context-Sensitive Design”

Next up pavements
Next up: Pavements