July 2020 Inspirations

New Resource Marks ADA Anniversary 

Toole Design is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act by publishing “Engaging People with Disabilities in Street Planning and Design”, a guide that captures some of the lessons we’ve learned on this topic over the years.  

Landmark civil rights legislation, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), was signed into law 30 years ago following decades of campaigning and lobbying by disability rights groups. Among many other things, the law requires city governments to ensure that all their programs, services, and activities are accessible to people with disabilities, including those related to street design and planning activities.  

Cover image of Engaging People with Disabilities in Street Planning and DesignThe “Engaging People with Disabilities” report, co-authored by Katherine Knapp de Orvañanos, AICP and Jim Elliott, AICP, is divided into two sections. The first covers why it is so essential to engage people with disabilities in street planning and design processes, and the second provides basic principles and practical tips for engaging people with disabilities.   

It’s hard to believe it’s been 30 years,” says Jennifer Toole. “This legislation was a model for the rest of the world, and yet we still have a long way to go to truly engage people with disabilities in the street design process.  Many are reliant on public transit, walking and bicycling for their daily trips and are deeply aware of shortcomings in our transportation networks.” 

Download the resource guide here.

Austin and New Orleans Featured in Conference Presentations 

We are excited that two national conferences in August feature presentations demonstrating the breadth of Toole Design’s technical skills, creativity, and innovation. On Thursday, August 6, Alia Anderson, Director of Planning, North America is a featured speaker at the Walk Bike Places conference. The “Make No Small Plans” session includes her presentation of the Austin Safe Routes to School initiative, in which Toole Design worked with the City of Austin to complete infrastructure audits at more than 130 schools. 

Starting August 4, the ITE Virtual Annual Meeting sees topical presentations on rapid implementation bikeway projects in Austin and New Orleans by Tyler Wong and Trung Vo; fellow P.E.’s Melany Allison-Brick and Emily Kohle have a poster session on designing for sustainable safety and Vision Zero. A Toole Design team is also one of the two finalists in the Micromobility Sandbox Design Competition – they are presenting on August 4 and find out the results during the Power Plenary session two days later. Go Team!  

Speaking of the Power Plenary session, kudos to ITE for putting together a dynamic and thought-provoking discussion on transportation and equity featuring four women of color who are experts in our field, including our former colleague Tamika Butler. ITE’s flexible and reasonable registration rate packages make critical sessions like these more affordable and accessible than is usually possible.   

Tuesday, August 4, 1:30–3:00 p.m.  Micromobility Design Competition: Presentations and Judging 

The goal of the ITE Micromobility Sandbox Design Competition, held earlier this year, is to identify innovative solutions where current and future micromobility can co-exist. The session will include finalist presentations from both student and consultant-led teams. Winners will be announced at the Power Plenary Session. 

Thursday, August 6, 1:30–3:00 p.m. Power Plenary: Transportation and Equity.

Four thought leaders help participants understand the factors we need to consider to achieve equity in transportation. Moderator: Alyssa Rodriguez, ITE International Vice President, with speakers:

  • Tamika Butler, Esq., Principal, Tamika L. Butler Consulting, LLC 
  • Emiko Atherton, Director, National Complete Streets Coalition 
  • Shirley Gonzales, Councilwoman, City of San Antonio, Texas 
  • Meghna Khanna, AICP, Senior Director, Countywide Planning and Development Mobility Corridors, Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority 

Thursday, August 6, 4:00–5:30 p.m. Workshop Presentation

This session features several cities who have transformed central corridors from car only to multimodal focuses, including New Orleans and Austin:

  • Low-Stress, Connected, Rapid: How to Get More New Orleanians Moving by Bike, Trung Vo, P.E., AICP, Senior Engineer and Planner, Toole Design and Louis Haywood, Construction Project Manager, City of New Orleans Department of Public Works
  • Shoal Creek Blvd: 5 Miles of Quick Build Multimodal Reconstruction in Austin, Tyler Wong, P.E., Street Designer / Engineer, Toole Design and  Emily Tuttle, Senior Public Information Specialist, Austin Transportation Department 

Tuesday, August 11, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. Poster Session 

  • Designing for Sustainable Safety and Vision Zero, Melany Alliston-Brick, P.E., Civil Engineering Practice Director, Toole Design Group and Emily Koehle, P.E., Traffic Engineer, Toole Design Group 

Civil Engineer Needed 

Here’s your brief. Redesign a high-profile gateway and commuter route into Washington, DC…that also happens to the carry the busiest regional trail and most dangerous roadway/trail intersection in Arlington County…and you’ll have to work with the County, State, National Park Service, and private landowners…oh, and most of the project is built on top of an Interstate highway.  

two pictures showing before and after conditions on the Custis Trail at the intersection with Lynn Street in Arlington, VA

Toole Design is looking for a Civil Engineer with 8+ years of complex, final design experience so we can create more safe places for people to walk and bike. These images are all part of the Lynn Street Esplanade project in Arlington, VA, which Toole Design has taken from concept to construction. Construction is now complete and an official opening expected to be scheduled post-pandemic. If this is the kind of engineering challenge you relish…look out for a job announcement coming soon.

Insights

Learn more about Toole Design project engineer Clea Baumhofer in this member spotlight from the Baltimore chapter of WTS. Clea played a leading role in bringing the Lynn Street Esplanade project (above) to the finish line.

Our Edmonton office director, Tyler Golly, shared his insights into rebalancing streets in the North American edition of ITS International; a related story is also expected to appear in World Roads magazine later this summer.

Senior Researcher Jessica Schoner was happy to share the news of a major USDOT grant award, in a project spearheaded by the City of New Orleans in partnership with the Regional Transit Authority,  University of New Orleans Transportation Institute, and Toole Design. The New Orleans team will develop a tool to aid local and regional agencies in the development of a High Injury Network and integrate the results with the existing USDOT Pedestrian Fatality Risk Map model.

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