Toole Design at NACTO Designing Cities 2022

We are excited to sponsor and participate in the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) conference being held September 7–10 in Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville. At Designing Cities 2022, we will celebrate the great strides these three cities have made in designing streets that serve all people and modes over the past 15 years. Toole Design is proud to have been a partner to Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville throughout these transformative years — and we look forward to continuing the momentum for years to come.

To mark the occasion, we’ve created an interactive StoryMap that moves through each city’s transformation so far. Check it out: A Tale of Three Cities and their Active Transportation Journeys.

For 15 years, we have collaborated to plan, design, and build streets for people of all ages and abilities. Learn more about Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville's active transportation journeys.

Throughout the conference, Toole Design staff from our Boston, Pittsburgh, Denver, and Washington DC offices will be on hand to connect with you, including Boston Office Director Jason DeGray; Project Planner Aaron Villere; and Director of Operations, Mid-Atlantic, Cipriana Thompson — in addition to the participating staff below. We will be helping lead several walkshops and conference sessions, and we invite you to join us Thursday evening for an open house at our Boston office! See details below.

conference sessions

Graphic showing information about NACTO Designing Cities 2022 Workshop: Move! That! Bus!

Redesigning city streets to get the bus out of slow traffic is one of the most effective ways to improve reliability, increase ridership, and fight climate change. Alongside NACTO’s Zabe Bent, Toole Design’s Jeff Rosenblum will co-facilitate this interactive workshop on transforming streets for bus priority. City practitioners from Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and New York City will discuss strategies and solutions for some of the toughest design, implementation, and evaluation decisions of recent projects. Jeff will discuss prioritization and evaluation metrics. (Also see NACTO’s newest publication Move! That! Bus! Tactics for Transforming Transit in Two Years, which provides an action plan for improving bus service.) Learn more.

Graphic with info about NACTO Designing Cities 2022 session with Katy Sawyer

If you’re tired of hearing ‘N-O’ because of the ‘M-U-T-C-D’, join Toole Design’s Katy Sawyer and fellow panelists for this masterclass on how to make the MUTCD and state design standards work for you — and when to build beyond the book. In this session, you’ll learn from city engineers about how to use the flexibility built into the MUTCD and other standards, and how to file experiments without breaking your timelines. Learn more.

And if you want to have a say in how the MUTCD and other standards continue to evolve, you can go straight from Katy’s session to the NACTO Standards Committee open meeting on Friday at 3:30PM EDT.


Explore parts of Commonwealth Avenue with Toole Design’s Michelle Danila. The group will traverse a suite of bike facility designs including left-side bike lanes, contraflow bike lanes, separated bike lanes, protected intersections, and riverfront paths. Tour highlights include the completed reconstruction of a mile-long stretch of Comm Ave by Boston University. Completed in 2019, the project transformed the corridor into a Complete Street. Offered both Thursday and Friday mornings.

Explore some of the latest, greatest, and safest bicycle infrastructure in Boston with Jeff Rosenblum. The tour will include: Harvard Bridge where advocates partnered with the state DOT to install a 4-to-2 road diet for the busiest bicycle route in the state; quick-build bike lanes and bus priority lanes near MIT; pedestrian-centered signal timing in Central Square; Western Avenue cycletrack (People for Bikes’ 2015 “best bike lane in America”); Commonwealth Avenue at the BU bridge to hear the history of improvements over the past 15 years; and a scenic trip back along the Charles River. Offered as a bike-or-scooter tour on Thursday, or as a walking tour on Friday.

East Boston’s evolving needs require smart policy and investment in multimodal options. Join Lydia Hausle and City of Boston planners to learn about what’s next. We’ll travel by trolley from the Convention Center, by ferry to Maverick Square, then ride the public bikeshare, with stops to highlight efforts to reimagine public spaces and ensure a resilient future for one of Boston’s most diverse neighborhoods. Offered both Thursday and Friday mornings. 

Join us on bike to learn how Cambridge’s “Bicycle Network Vision” has served as a blueprint for a system that supports people of all ages, abilities, and identities. Nick Jackson, Michelle Danila, and City of Cambridge staff will guide the group through various parts of the network, including off-road paths, separated bicycle facilities, bicycle priority streets with traffic calming, and other supportive elements. Together, we’ll traverse the city to see how these projects have started to form a true bicycle network. Learn more.

open house 

Toole Design Open House Thursday, 9/8, 6-8PM

In addition to these scheduled conference events, we also invite you to attend our open house on Thursday evening! Come by for drinks and appetizers, and to connect with local professionals and Toole Design staff. While you’re at the open house — or stopping by our conference booth — be sure to enter our raffle to win hardbound copies of the Boston Complete Streets Design Guidelines and the MassDOT Separated Bike Lane Planning and Design Guide.

We’re looking forward to these opportunities to connect, to reflect on all we’ve done together so far, and to dream big about what’s next — for Boston and for your own communities. 

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