September Inspirations

Report on Shared Micromobility Captures State of the Industry

The North American Bikeshare Association (NABSA) has released its first annual State of the Industry Report, providing a snapshot of the industry in the United States, Mexico, and Canada in 2019.

Toole Design worked with NABSA and UC Berkeley’s Transportation Sustainability Research Center to design survey tools, compile industry research, and package the findings into a user-friendly report that provides a comprehensive snapshot of the industry today.

The report shows that shared micromobility has become an essential form of mobility in cities of all sizes. In 2019, at least 292 cities in North America had a bikeshare or e-scooter system with 34% of these having both. The industry deployed over 194,000 bikes, e-bikes, and e-scooters on a typical day, which saw over 157 million trips taken in 2019.

Research compiled from studies across the industry highlight the benefits of shared micromobility, why people use it, and the industry’s efforts to reach new populations and address transportation inequities. It shows that 36% of shared micromobility trips replace automobile trips and that these systems increase physical activity and improve access to jobs. Shared micromobility still tends to underrepresent women, people of color, lower income, and older populations, however cities and system operators are working proactively to close these gaps.

The report shows how agencies and system operators are delivering service to cities of different sizes and highlights the role of the public, private, and non-profit sectors on the industry. Over half of systems are now operated by the private sector and agencies have largely adopted recently developed data standards to monitor the use of the public right-of-way. Shared micromobility continues to operate as an effective and low-cost form of public transportation.

NABSA’s first annual Industry Metrics report will provide a basis for comparison in future years and will be a useful tool to understand the impacts and how the industry is adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Celebrating A Defining “Concept to Construction” Project

The full range of Toole Design’s multidisciplinary skills are on display in the North Lynn Street Esplanade/Rosslyn Circle project that opened earlier this summer in the heart of Arlington County, VA. More than a decade ago, Jennifer Toole and a team of planners worked with Arlington County to study two complex corridors, North Lynn Street and Lee Highway (US 29), where they come together at Rosslyn Circle just across the Potomac River from Washington, DC. They developed concepts to manage the two busy roadways and a popular regional trail. Our engineering staff took over the reins and completed final design drawings before handing off to our landscape architects and urban designers to oversee construction and the many finishing touches that make the project stand out.

We’ve put together a short slide deck to capture the breadth, complexity, and ultimate outcome of the project with a series of before, during and after images. The entire process was complicated by the presence of Interstate 66, which passes through the study area in a cut and cover tunnel. Construction was finished just as the COVID-19 pandemic hit this March, so traffic levels are still below normal – although trail use has remained robust even through the construction phases and spring lockdown. Clink on the comment symbol in the top left of each slide to read the notes.


Yes, We’re Hiring

We have a limited number of open positions. We are nearing the end of our search for a senior engineer and have engineering and planning positions open in Austin, TX that offer an exciting opportunity to help the City of Austin implement millions of dollars of active transportation projects. We also have project accountant openings in Denver, Seattle and/or Portland if you are more interested in the business side of the consulting world. We invite you to look at – or share – information about the positions, and to browse our website to get a sense of our values, approach, and commitment to equity, ethics, and empathy.

A recent staff survey elicited some feedback from our staff you might also want to consider. “I really enjoy working at Toole Design and I am inspired by the company leadership. My overall sense is that the company cares about its staff and does its best to do the right thing”, said one person. “Overall, super happy to be a values-driven firm with smart, caring, and talented technical and operations staff. Thank you!!” offered a second person. If you want to join the team, please get in touch.


Promotions and Practice Leads Announced

Staff promotionsWe are pleased to announce four managerial appointments in the areas of landscape architecture, research, urban design, and office management. Stefanie Brodie, PhD becomes the company-wide Research Practice Lead based in the Silver Spring, MD office. Karen Fitzgerald, PLA is the new Landscape Architecture Director for the Northeast Region, working out of the Boston office, while Cindy Zerger AICP, ASLA becomes the Urban Design Director for California; Cindy is based in Oakland, CA. Finally, Megan Wooley-Ousdahl, AICP, also in the Oakland office, has been appointed the Deputy Office Director.

Congratulations also to eight of our colleagues upon their recent promotions. Carlos Hernandez and Brent Oltz (Los Angeles) are now Senior Planners; William Huang (Boston) and Savannah Langkamp (Raleigh) are Engineer III’s; Dan Reed (Silver Spring) and Erin Machell (Portland) become Planner I’s; John Dempsey, PLA in our Minneapolis office is a Landscape Architect II; and Katie O’Lone, AICP (Columbus) becomes a Project Planner II.


  • Erin Machell, a transportation planner in our Portland office, has taken a look at some of the options for renaming “bike lanes” to reflect the growing mix of vehicles and devices that are using them. Read her Insight post and take a moment to share your thoughts.
  • Toole Design’s Edmonton office continues to make the news. The Safe Mobility Strategy we’ve been working on with the City got a boost from this coverage, just as a key outreach phase began. And Tyler Golly was recently featured in World Highways (July/August) in a piece on Sustainable Cycling.
  • Andy Clarke shares his insights into why local trips, and particularly non-work trips, are more important than ever for planners and designers to consider in this article. Andy also added this commentary on LinkedIn to the NABSA annual report mentioned above.


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