Blue Springs Training
In June 2012, CNU teamed up with the City of Blue Springs, Missouri to host a Designing Walkable Urban Thoroughfares Workshop for planners, engineers, and community leaders within the region. Participants received instruction on the ITE/CNU Designing Walkable Urban Thoroughfares manual and learned context-sensitive, multi-modal approaches to street design. They also took part in working groups to discuss walkable and sustainable design solutions for the intersection of Highways 7 and 40 in Blue Springs. The workshop resulted in a final report that describes the project background, existing conditions, and recommendations for the intersection including short-, medium- and long-term actions.
The Designing Walkable Urban Thoroughfares Workshop was led by Stacey Meekins of Sam Schwartz Engineering, CNU Board member Marcy McInelly of Urbsworks, and CNU President and CEO John Norquist.
According to Blue Springs Community Development Director Scott Allen:
"The workshop was a great foundational step towards reaching our goals for a more walkable, and bikeable, core intersection in Blue Springs. We had a phenomenal turnout of over 30 participants from numerous backgrounds, including Planning Commissioners, MoDOT, Mid-America Regional Council, business owners, PTA representatives, health advocates, and neighboring communities. The presentations by CNU staff and consultants provided a strong conceptual framework for the participants to use in their brainstorming of alternative roadway designs. We hope to carry this momentum forward by implementing several of the short-term strategies beginning already this year. Our ultimate goal is to see these new principles applied not only at the 40 and 7 intersection but throughout both corridors and at other major intersections throughout the city. This workshop and its outcomes merges perfectly with our April walkability workshop that looked more at neighborhood scale pedestrian and bicycling improvements. Together we have a more complete toolbox as we strive to make Blue Springs safe and inviting for all modes of transportation."
Blue Springs in the news and around the country!
The Designing Walkable Urban Thoroughfares Workshop was highlighted in Blue Springs Mayor Carson Ross' bi-weekly e-newsletter the week of June 20, 2012. A copy can be found here.
On June 25, Stacey Meekins and Johanna Bye, Program Assistant at CNU, presented the Designing Walkable Urban Thoroughfares manual and work done in Blue Springs at the 2012 ITE Midwestern District Meeting and TRB 4th Urban Street Symposium in Chicago. A copy of their presentation can be found here.
The Blue Springs workshop was funded in part by the U.S. EPA's Office of Sustainable Communities under their Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Program, via a grant to the Project for Public Spaces (PPS). The Building Blocks program funds quick, targeted assistance to communities that face common development problems. Assistance provided by Congress for the New Urbanism as part of their partnership in Livability Solutions.