Chicago Policy Shift Gives Pedestrians a Leg Up

With the coming release of Chicago's new Complete Streets Design Guidelines, the city is undertaking a "seismic policy shift" in how it evaluates all transportation projects: by making pedestrians the primary mode for consideration.

For nearly a century, America's cities have based their transportation decisions on prioritizing what's best for the car. But a significant shift being led by cities like Portland and Chicago is giving alternative forms of transportation as much, or more, weight in design and decision-making.  

Emily Badger looks at Chicago's new Complete Streets Design Guidelines which contain "a small-sounding but seismic policy shift: From now on, in the design guidelines for every effort from major streetscape projects to minor roadside electrical work, transportation work must defer to a new 'default modal hierarchy.' The pedestrian comes first."

"My feeling is that we have to swing the pendulum in the other direction," says Gabe Klein, commissioner of Chicago’s Department of Transportation. "The fact is that the transit user is also a pedestrian, a cyclist is also a pedestrian, an auto user is also a pedestrian. You may not chose the other modes every day, but every day you’re a pedestrian."

Full Story: New Chicago Plan: Pedestrians Come First


Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

The Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs is the only comprehensive ranking and listing of graduate urban planning programs available.
Starting at $24.95

Stay thirsty, urbanists

These sturdy water bottles are eco-friendly and perfect for urbanists on the go.

City Map Posters are in!

Available in 9 different cities.