Success Stories

Communities across the country are using Designing Walkable Urban Thoroughfares: A Context Sensitive Approach to help restore the social and economic functions of the street. Planners, engineers, and advocates are collaborating to use the manual to transform urban street design, increasing walkability and improve communities. Read about some of the many success stories.

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El Paso, Texas

The City of El Paso, Texas has passed a resolution to adopt the manual as required practice for the “use in the design and construction on new roadways and redesign and reconstruction of existing roadways." Over 200 city professionals have passed the CNU Accreditation exam.

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Fort Worth, Texas

After the relocation and reconstruction of the I-30/35 interchange and a section of I-30 along Lancaster Avenue, the city of Fort Worth, Texas decided to pursue the redesign of Lancaster Avenue to try to encourage and accommodate historic preservation and redevelopment. Lancaster served as a frontage/collector-distributor road pair for I-30 along the south side of downtown.

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Contra Costa County, California

This case study illustrates how the principles of CSS integrated with a new planning process achieved a near unanimous consensus on a transit-oriented development (TOD) where traditional processes resulted in a long string of failed attempts. The case study also illustrates how tradeoffs in the design of walkable thoroughfares can be used strategically to secure larger benefits for the community. Even though some of the specific design solutions highlighted in this case study do not adhere to standard CSS design, the overall solution worked well for this community.

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Twinsburg, Ohio

In an effort to make their town center more walkable and economically viable, the City of Twinsburg, Ohio chose to update their comprehensive plan. The City looked to Designing Walkable thoroughfares: A Context Sensitive Approach to help with the planning and design. Twinsburg held a workshop on the manual and has taken steps towards a new walkable vision for the town’s center. Specifically, the City wants to eliminate unnecessary right turn lanes and set a lower target speed through the city center.

To read more about the Twinsburg training, visit

Blue Springs, Missouri

Blue Springs, Missouri used the manual as a way to promote walking and biking in their community, and transform a vital highway intersection into a commercial and social destination. Over the years, the intersection of State Route 7 and U.S. Route 40 has changed from a vehicular thoroughfare into a roadway with commercial establishments, but the roadway design promotes speed and is uninviting to pedestrians and cyclists. Leaders and advocates in Blue Springs used the manual to establish a plan for improving the intersection and other roadways in the area. A year later, Blue Springs has added bike lanes along the length of Route 7 and they are moving forward with additional improvements according to the comprehensive plan.

To read more about the Blue Springs training, visit

Elgin, Illinois

CNU and ITE held its first workshop on the manual in Elgin, Illinois to make the vision of a walkable and sustainable Elgin a reality. The city’s goals included enhancing connectivity and increasing economic value through smarter street design. They wanted neighborhoods in their city to be destinations, not just zones that cars drove through.

To read more about the Elgin training, visit

Chicago, Illinois

On February 7th and 8th, 2013, the Congress for the New Urbanism offered two separate training sessions on the principles and practice of urban street design for transportation professionals and decision-makers from around the Chicago area. The event offered a unique opportunity for participants to learn how the Designing Walkable Urban Thoroughfares manual can be applied to support the state’s context sensitive solutions policy, help implement the region’s GO TO 2040 plan and overcome obstacles to building vibrant, walkable communities. CNU partnered with the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) and the Illinois Department of Transportation to organize these workshops.

To read more about the Chicago area training, visit

Lansing, Michigan

In March 2014, CNU partner with the Michigan Municipal League to host a Designing Walkable Urban Thoroughfares Workshop for planners, engineers, and policymakers in the State of Michigan. Participants learned ways to resolve the challenges to building streets that make Michigan communities more valuable and livable in order to meet the growing demand for walkable streets. Working address street design challenges in three distinct focus areas along the Michigan Avenue/Grand River Avenue Corridor, a 19-mile corridor stretching from the state Capitol through Lansing, East Lansing, Meridian Township, Williamstown Township, City of Williamston, Leroy Township and the Village of Webberville.

To read more about the Lansing training, visit