California Updates Main Street Planning Guide

A newly revised guidebook by the California Department of Transportation describes how to plan and design highways and arterials that also serve as community commercial centers.

Main Street, California: A Guide for Improving Community and Transportation Vitality is a newly revised guidebook produced by the by California Department of Transportation which describes how to plan and design highways and arterials that also serve as community commercial centers.

Just as mobility is essential to California’s economic and civic vitality, the planning, design and operation of main streets is tied to the prosperity of local communities. Well conceived main streets function efficiently as multimodal transportation facilities, and are important civic spaces that support vibrant community life and ecological health. Prudent investments to provide multimodal travel options are a crucial strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental impacts associated with single occupancy driving habits. 

Incorporating principles of livability and sustainability into main street projects can help balance the need for an efficient multimodal transportation facility with local needs for a main street that functions as the heart of the community. Some design solutions highlighted in Main Street will be familiar or slight variations of traditional strategies, while others will entail a new and broader vision of how main streets can benefit travelers and the local community.

Arriving at a shared vision for main streets requires a commitment to collaborative negotiation and shared responsibility. This document will assist transportation officials, designers, planners and stakeholders in making transportation decisions that are appropriate for the local context and that serve the greater traveling public.

Full Story: Main Street, California: A Guide for Improving Community and Transportation Vitality

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