Multi-modal streets

The success of urban mixed-use projects depends, in part, on developing multi-modal streets to support the quality of life in mixed-use projects.  If the multi-modal street is properly designed and implemented, it preserves through-streets for car travel, and increases bicycle and pedestrian traffic in and around the mixed-use neighborhood.  Providing convenient access to the businessess within the area is key to their success.

We need to be planning for higher density, mixed-use neighborhoods within existing towns and cities to reduce development pressure on the perimeter of urban areas.  This allows for adjacent lands to be preserved for food production, preservation of natural areas, wildlife habitat, and the simple enjoyment of nature.  A number of cities are actively pursuing this, including Boulder, Colorado and Portland, Oregon.  El Camino Real runs from San Francisco to San Jose.  The Grand Boulevard Initiative is one example of revitalizing a major transit corridor through a multi-modal street approach.

While this approach was considered too risky by developers a decade ago, it can now produce a higher return on investment than suburban sprawl models.  Municipal planners and private firms are integrating this approach much more than even five years ago through zoning code changes, and other methods.

© tpg 2016