Applying the Tricks of Tactical Urbanism to Transit

The semi-legal world of quick, informal city improvements called tactical urbanism is finding a home inside transit departments.
January 7, 2017, 7am PST | Casey Brazeal | @northandclark
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Mayor Carlo DeMaria

Interested citizens will sometimes intervene to solve small neighborhood problems, like repainting a faded crosswalk or placing wayfinding signs on lamp posts. The practice has been called "tactical urbanism" and it offers the advantage of taking small actions to solve problems that cities, slowed by bureaucracy or competing interests, can be slow to address. Some transit agencies, seeing the beneficial effects of such actions, are adopting similar tactics. They’re looking for small quick fixes that can be implemented and tested at low costs.

Among other examples, a post on the TransitCenter website cites an activation from New York City: "Recently, the city expanded its 'quick delivery' repertoire for bus corridors with a rubber bus bulb-out or curb extension along the Utica Avenue corridor rather than traditional cement." Another bus project was laid out with the help of some orange cones, "In Everett, Massachusetts, a pilot project recently transformed a parking lane in a heavily congested portion of Broadway/Route 99 into bus-only lane during rush hour." Some city problems need huge spending and coordinated efforts to solve, but many don't, and nimble departments may be able find many ways to help communities.

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Published on Monday, December 19, 2016 in TransitCenter
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