SANDAG to host a presentation on the NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide

NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide presentation by Joe Gilpin of Alta Planning + Design
When: May 8th at noon (through 2pm)
Where: SANDAG Board Room – 7th Floor, 401 B Street, San Diego
Who: City, County and Caltrans staff have been invited along with bike advocates and other related stakeholders. You are also invited.
What: Joe Gilpin, Alta Planning + Design’s expert on innovative bikeway treatments and primary author of the NACTO (National Association of City Transportation Officials) Urban Bikeway Design Guide, will be at SANDAG to give a 90 minute overview presentation on the NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide.

After the recent deaths of two bicycle riders, there has been a lot of attention highlighting the dangerous design of San Diego’s streets – an environment that encourages speeding and is uninviting to anyone both outside a car and inside, given how many drivers die or cause injury or death on a weekly basis.

Joe Gilpin, a planner with the bicycle and pedestrian design firm, Alta Planning & Design, will be in San Diego next Tuesday to give an overview on the NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide.

Released in the 2011, the NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide  provides the first comprehensive design guidance for the American context on a wide-range of innovative and increasingly popular bicycle treatments (e.g., cycle tracks, bike boxes, bike signals).
As cities across the United States work to expand the appeal and safety of cycling in urban areas, they are successfully using a new toolbox of innovative design and engineering strategies. The NACTO Guide draws on the experiences of these pioneer cities and adapts internationally recognized best practices to the American context.

Cycle Tracks in Long Beach, CA. Photo:

What is the NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide?

NACTO is an association of 15 major U.S. cities formed to exchange transportation ideas, insights, and practices and cooperatively approach national transportation issues.

The NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide is a set of design standards for bikeways and was released with much fanfare last March. Janette Sadik-Khan, the current Commissioner at the New York City Department of Transportation is responsible for much of the positive transformation of New York City – all made with acknowledging the reality that New York City has to accommodate a continually growing population, unveiled the guide last year. Below is a video of the official announcement.

As Mia Birk, from Alta Planning & Design, states “NACTO undertook the project because many of its members found existing design manuals inadequate for their efforts to promote bicycle transportation.”

In California, planners and engineers are compelled to follow the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials’ (AASHTO) Policy on Geometric Design of Highways and Streets (the “Green Book”), the California Highway Design Manual, and other highway-centric design guidelines when designing facilities that are used by all users traveling in a variety of transportation modes besides an automobile.

The NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide allows for additional flexibility when transportation engineers, planners and the like are re-designing our roads to be more inviting to all its users. Giving Gilpin an opportunity to talk about the Urban Bikeway Guide is an excellent first step that SANDAG is taking to acknowledge the glaring deficiencies in our transportation network. I hope the presentation compels all cities in the county to sign on to be member of NACTO and implement the best practices that can have tremendous economic and health impacts on a community.

For more on Alta Planning & Design, read this interview profiling Sam Corbett, the Senior Associate at San Diego’s Alta Planning & Design branch.