Navigation Links
CU Denver study finds serious challenges to 'New Urbanist' communities
Date:6/10/2014

DENVER (June 10, 2014) As New Urbanist communities expand nationwide, a study from the University of Colorado Denver shows the increasing challenges of balancing complex traffic engineering systems with the ideals of walkable, sustainable neighborhoods.

As a leading public research university located in the urban core, CU Denver researchers have ample opportunity to connect their work to the city of Denver and surrounding communities. This study focused on Denver's Stapleton neighborhood, one of the largest New Urbanist developments in the nation, specifically examining its street network, street design and intersections.

"I was investigating the inconsistencies of what was built with respect to the latest research and state-of-the-art New Urbanist thinking," said study author Wesley Marshall, PhD, PE, assistant professor of civil engineering at CU Denver College of Engineering and Applied Science. "The deviations from the standard model of New Urbanism were then considered in terms of how people are actually using the system, by way of vehicle speed studies and travel diaries."

Marshall said Stapleton, like similar developments, began with a set of guiding principles but made compromises due to competing conventional traffic engineering standards.

One of those principles relies on narrow streets to restrict travel speeds for increased safety. Yet while on-street parking is a New Urbanist tool to slow traffic and buffer pedestrians, it isn't as effective in Stapleton since most homes come with mandated off-street parking, the study said.

"Underutilized on-street parking has been shown by various researchers to be associated with higher vehicle speeds as well as higher crash rates," Marshall said. "Even where on-street parking is well used, many of Stapleton's residential streets are still too wide; as a result, unsafe vehicle speeds are the norm."

Stapleton's street network also includes two overly-wide major thoroughfares Martin Luther King and Central Park Blvds, he said. Marshall found that the 35 mph speed limit on Martin Luther King Blvd. was exceeded 18 percent of the time while the 30 mph on Central Park was exceeded 22 percent of the time.

"If we have streets in a New Urbanist neighborhood where it's possible for drivers to go 50, 60 or 70 mph, then we've done something wrong," Marshall said. "The problem is not a lack of police enforcement; it's a lack of self-enforcing streets."

The study also found that Stapleton and Lowry, a similar development nearby, lagged behind older Denver neighborhoods in terms of walking, biking and public transit use. That may change in 2016, Marshall said, when a commuter line from the central business district to Stapleton is completed, but that is not quite enough.

Marshall said Stapleton, with over 14,000 residents, does many things right. There is a lot of connectivity for pedestrians and bikes, there are great sidewalks, the schools and restaurants are close, and the area looks inviting.

But he said the downsides are also real.

"Stapleton serves as a reminder that the transportation design ideals of New Urbanism can too easily be compromised by a conventional traffic engineering mindset," Marshall said. "The results are higher-than-desired vehicle speeds on every kind of street; higher driving mode shares, and less walking, biking and transit use than peer neighborhoods in the region."

The solution requires a return to the original ideals of Stapleton with narrow, connected streets, less off-street parking, and less dependency on automobiles, he said.

"If we don't better deal with this disconnect between New Urbanist ideals and conventional engineering solutions, then Stapleton will end up just like any other auto-oriented development," Marshall said.


'/>"/>

Contact: David Kelly
david.kelly@ucdenver.edu
303-503-7990
University of Colorado Denver
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. PuraMed BioScience®, Inc., Launches a Marketing Blitz for LipiGesic® M, Its Clinically-Tested Migraine Pain Reliever in the Denver, CO Region to Coincide with the NACDSs Marketplace 2012 Trade Convention
2. American Society for Microbiology to host 113th General Meeting in Denver
3. Study by UC Santa Barbara researchers suggests that bacteria communicate by touch
4. Law that regulates shark fishery is too liberal: UBC study
5. New study will help protect vulnerable birds from impacts of climate change
6. Study jointly led by UCSB researcher supports theory of extraterrestrial impact
7. BYU study: Using a gun in bear encounters doesnt make you safer
8. 15-year study: When it comes to creating wetlands, Mother Nature is in charge
9. Pycnogenol (French maritime pine bark extract) shown to improve menopause symptoms in new study
10. Crystal structure of archael chromatin clarified in new study
11. EU-funded study underlines importance of Congo Basin for global climate and biodiversity
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/2/2016)... NEW YORK , Feb. 2, 2016 Technology ... service presents an analysis of the digital and computed ... Malaysia , and Indonesia ... current trends and market size, as well as regional ... by country and discusses market penetration and market attractiveness, ...
(Date:2/1/2016)...  Today, the first day of American Heart Month, ... a first of its kind workplace health solution that ... the first application of Watson ... and Welltok will create a new offering that combines ... delivered on Welltok,s health optimization platform. The effort is ...
(Date:1/25/2016)... , Jan. 25, 2016   Unisys Corporation (NYSE: ... John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport, New York City ... (CBP) identify imposters attempting to enter the United States ... to them. pilot testing of the system at ... three terminals at JFK during January 2016. --> pilot ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/9/2016)... ... ... Date and time: March 1, 2016, 5:30 p.m. to ... of Bucks County, 3805 Old Easton Road, Doylestown, PA 18902. , The Baruch ... house for participants to learn about a new Master of Biomedical Science (MBS) ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... ... February 09, 2016 , ... The American Academy of Thermology ... offering its 2016 AAT Member Certification Qualification Course for Technicians via a two part ... which will include a detailed review of hardware, software, and camera setup/operations, aligns with ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... -- This market research report on the global microbiology ... the market in terms of revenue (USD Million). The ... manufacture of microbiology culture media and related products. The ... providing the overall information of various market segments included ... provides the overall information and data analysis of the ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... 9, 2016 DelveInsight,s, ... report provides in depth insights on the ... the Protein-Tyrosine Phosphatase 1B (PTP1B) Inhibitors. The ... various stages of development including Discovery, Pre-clinical, ... and Preregistration. Report covers the product clinical ...
Breaking Biology Technology: