Pedestrian Planning and Design Resources
PennDOT is working to make transportation planning a more collaborative process that supports community goals through its PennDOT Connects initiative. PennDOT Connects reaches into community and transportation planning processes to initiate early dialogue and partnered decision-making about the kinds of transportation projects that will help a community achieve its vision.
PennDOT Connects News
Tech Assists Shine Light on Streets as Multimodal, Public Spaces
Four municipalities recently took advantage of the PennDOT Connects on-site technical assistance program on the use of streets as public spaces and multimodal assets.
The PennDOT Connects tech assists facilitate education by planning professionals, the exchange of creative ideas, and the opportunity to meet collaboratively about a local transportation planning project or issue. The City of Lancaster requested assistance in exploring ways to improve safety along the Orange Street corridor for pedestrians and bicyclists while accommodating vehicular traffic. PennDOT Connects staff constructed a half-day workshop that provided education on the concept of streets as public spaces and involved participants in an idea exchange about changes they would like to see along the corridor.
"Streets are our most fundamental shared public spaces," explains Sally Holbert, PennDOT Connects team member, "but they are also one of the most contested and overlooked. When streets function well on the level of everyday experience, they provide opportunities for people to connect in a way that no other public space can. This workshop was about getting the street space to function well for all modes."
Planning and Research Funds Available to Support Local Studies
To support better decision-making under PennDOT Connects, the department dedicates approximately $3 million a year in Statewide Planning and Research funds to transportation planning studies. Proposed planning studies will be selected for funding based on the following criteria:
- Planning studies should be focused on a specific transportation problem, such as corridor congestion, land use continuity with existing transportation infrastructure, freight accessibility abd compatibility with surrounding land use, limited pedestrian and/or bicycle accommodations, stormwater management problems, or lack of transit access.
- Planning studies should consider the leveraging of other funding sources to implement findings, such as Multimodal Transportation Grants, Transportation Alternatives funding, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources funding, and other local funding opportunities.
- Local participation in funding transportation planning studies will be given priority consideration
PennDOT engages in significant coordination with the Department of Health and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to support the planning, design, and construction of pedestrian infrastructure.
Walkworks is program from the Department of Health that
- Identifies and promotes safe walking routes;
- Offers social support through guided, community-based walking groups;
- Helps schools develop walk-to-school programs; and
- Addresses local policies to increase safe walking routes
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is a valuable partner and resource for the department and the public. Over the past two years, FHWA has produced several valuable guidance documents:
The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center is another resource center funded by FHWA. It offers guidance on planning, design, data-resources, and training including free webinars.
The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways, or MUTCD, defines the standards used by road managers nationwide to install and maintain traffic control devices on all public streets, highways, bikeways, and private roads open to public travel. The MUTCD is published by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
The Transportation Research Board (TRB) is a program unit of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, a nonprofit organization that provides independent, objective, and interdisciplinary solutions. TRB manages transportation research by producing publications and online resources. It convenes experts that help to develop solutions to problems and issues facing transportation professionals. TRB also provides advice through its policy studies that tackle complex and often controversial issues of national significance.
Below are a few of the many resources available (some are free, and others require purchase of materials).
National Association of City Transportation Officials produces several relevant guides that PennDOT may consider as project alternatives are developed.
Parks and Trail Resources