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Functional Classification: So Important That No One Wants to Talk About It (CM | 1.5)
July 26, 2013 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Functional classification is a transportation topic that is often left for engineers to sort out, but it has a huge impact on urban planning. Anyone involved in urban planning – including community stakeholders – should be part of the dialogue surrounding the function of public streets. Functional classification is a way that transportation professionals group streets according to the type of traffic they serve and the degree of access expected to adjacent land uses. Few transportation issues are as important as functional classification, and yet it is one of the least understood or debated. Despite the Federal Highway Administration’s advocacy of flexible design standards, typical practice in the United States has been very rigid, leading to unintended negative consequences. For new urbanism, that means streets that require almost highway speeds and lane widths—physical impacts that are contrary to the overall purpose of new urban planning. For example, in some areas an Urban Principal Arterial might require a minimum 45 MPH design speed and minimum 12-foot wide lanes, even if the surrounding land uses need more appropriate (i.e. livable, sustainable) solutions. This webcast will incorporate very specific examples that are typical of public transportation networks throughout the United States.
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