March 2020 Inspirations

The realities of living and working through a global pandemic are bringing new challenges every day. We are working – remotely, a privilege for which we are grateful – to move public outreach meetings online, to engage with stakeholders and clients in new ways, and to keep building more resilient communities for everyone.

Having safe, equitable access to places to bicycle and walk is more important than ever. What can cities – who are now seeing an influx of pedestrians and bicyclists and a decrease in transit operations – do quickly to help residents adjust to this new reality? From eliminating pedestrian “beg” buttons to rapid implementation of safe bikeways, read our top five recommendations here.  We are also hosting a free webinar on Rebalancing Streets for People on Thursday, April 2 at 2:00 Eastern. Click here to register!

Like you, we don’t have all the answers right now. One thing we do know, however, is that Toole Design, our clients, and our peers will be better off if we navigate these unexpected changes to our daily lives with resolve and empathy together – that’s why we put together these resources that we can all share. Please let us know how else we can help support you during these difficult and unusual times by dropping a note to

New Orleans Expands Bikeway Network

The City of New Orleans took an important step forward this week – even under these unusual circumstances – by implementing part of its citywide bikeway network expansion. New protected bike lanes have been installed on Garden Oaks Drive in the Algiers neighborhood, directly across the Mississippi River from the French Quarter.

Additional bike lanes along ten more corridors are forthcoming, which will ultimately result in a low-stress bikeway network throughout the city. Other safety enhancements including sidewalk connections, accessible curb ramps, streetlight repairs, and bike lane striping are also complete in Algiers. Together, these help create safer streets for everyone, no matter their mode of transport.

Toole Design worked with the City to plan, design, and build these low-stress, equitable, and connected bikeways as part of the Moving New Orleans Bikes campaign. We provided rapid planning and design services, including citywide analyses and network planning, design guidance and standard details, public engagement materials and support, traffic analysis, and detailed designs for construction. We also developed frameworks that streamline decision-making in design and expedite the timeline for developing construction plans, which helped the City identify locations where they will have the most immediate impact.

It is always exciting and fulfilling to help cities achieve their vision of a safe, complete streets for all. Particularly in light of current events, having safe places to walk, bike, and be outdoors are more essential than ever.

Learn more about this work on our website.

Remembering John LaPlante

All of us are mourning the loss of John LaPlante, former Chicago Transportation Commissioner and a tireless advocate for sustainable and active transit. We owe a debt of gratitude for his leadership and tireless efforts to educate a legion of transportation professionals on how to design complete streets. We extend our condolences to his family, and commit to continuing the work that was so important to him for so long. Read more about his remarkable life here.

FHWA Launches Online Bicycle Facility Design Course

The National Highway Institute recently released a new online course about planning and designing bicycle facilities. The Bicycle Facility Design course includes everything from bikeway planning and selection to detailed design information for on- and off-road bike facilities. It draws extensively from the latest design standards and recommendations being adopted by state and local agencies across the country.

Toole Design staff worked with colleagues at Cambridge Systematics, GP Strategies, and FHWA to produce the course. It is free, available online now, and perfect for anyone working in the rapidly changing field of active transportation. Read more here.

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