New D.C. Development Guidelines Require More Consideration of Walkability

Washington, D.C. recently released its first new guidelines for transportation review of new developments since 2012.

2 minute read

August 17, 2019, 1:00 PM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Urban Living

V_E / Shutterstock

"In June, the D.C. Department of Transportation published new guidelines for reviewing the transportation impacts of major real estate developments," according to an article by D. Taylor Reich.

"These new guidelines may be the country’s most advanced in their attention to pedestrian infrastructure, but even they could be improved if they treated pedestrians with the same attentive, technical rigor that they use to treat traffic."

According to Reich, the effects of new developments on mobility, walkability, equity, and economic development have been neglected for much of D.C.’s history they were not considered during the development approval process. The new guidelines, however, elevate pedestrian safety and walkability during the evaluation of transportation in connection to new developments.

Reich lists more specific as follows, taken directly from the article:

  • Surveys of current and planned pedestrian infrastructure, like the one described for the project at 301-331 N St. NE, are now required for all CTRs – and are required to go into even greater detail.
  • An inventory of street trees, which contribute in many ways to the pedestrian realm, is now required within a three-block radius of the project.
  • An analysis of vehicle crashes has been replaced with an analysis of pedestrian safety.
  • A count of pedestrians and a count of bicycles are now required at every intersection where a count of cars is required.

The detailed, lengthy article also includes recommendations for even better outcomes in terms of walkability.

Thursday, August 15, 2019 in D.C. Policy Center

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