CNU's 2018 Transportation Summit: Accelerating Highway Transformation

Start: 
Sunday, September 16, 2018 - 8:00am
End: 
Monday, September 17, 2018 - 1:30pm
Location: 
New Orleans, LA
Event Details

Highways to Boulevards

This year's Transportation Summit focuses on the revitalization of urban neighborhoods disrupted by limited-access highways and the local campaigns to transform these disruptive arteries into surface streets and boulevards. In the 20th Century, the American era of highway-building created sprawling freeways that cut huge swaths through our cities. Too often vibrant, diverse, and functioning neighborhoods were destroyed or isolated by their construction, devastating communities and economies alike. Today, many of these urban freeways are reaching the end of their lifespans—and their continuing purpose and worth is being called into question.

The Project for Transportation Reform has chosen this crucial moment to open a dialogue between leading professionals in the field of transportation and the community members seeking to transform the freeways that divide their neighborhoods. As its objective, this Transportation Summit aims to equips both current and future campaigns with a toolkit to repair the damage caused by inner city highways and to reintegrate neighborhoods back into cities and towns across North America.

To this end, the 2018 Transportation Summit will feature sessions that cover:

  1. Designing and planning alternatives to highways.
  2. Campaign communication and messaging.
  3. Collaboration with local and state governments.
  4. Economic incentives of highway replacement.
  5. Funding highway replacement.
Event Program

Check out the draft schedule for the 2018 Transportation Summit below. Some changes and substitutions may be made leading up to the Summit, but the schedule below reflects the most up-to-date information.

Saturday | September 15

TOUR: NEW ORLEANS' TREMÉ NEIGHBORHOOD AND THE CLAIBORNE EXPRESSWAY
4:00 - 6:00 PM

Registration

Experience firsthand the Claiborne Corridor and Tremé neighborhood in New Orleans, a city neighborhood split by the six-lane, elevated Claiborne Expressway (I-10). Led by Amy Stelly, urban planner, designer, and campaign leader, and David Dixon, urban planner and designer, this tour will begin on Canal Street to first consider successful models for boulevards in New Orleans before looking at the potential to redevelop the elevated expressway back into the vibrant avenue it once was. Throughout the tour, we will tackle the very real issues of gentrification and displacement that have spurred neighborhood opposition and discuss how to ensure that the economic value unlocked by taking down an elevated expressway is channeled to serve the members of the current community.

Sunday | September 16

REGISTRATION
8:00 – 8:30 AM

WELCOME, PURPOSE, AND INTRODUCTION
8:30 – 9:00 AM

Speakers:
Lynn Richards, President and CEO, Congress for the New Urbanism
Patrick Kennedy, Founder, A New Dallas

HIGHWAYS TO BOULEVARDS: CAMPAIGN STORIES
9:00 – 10:45 AM

The organizers of local campaigns to revitalize urban neighborhoods disrupted by limited-access highways and transform these disruptive arteries into surface boulevards present their successes and current efforts.

Confirmed speakers:
Heyden Black Walker, Project Manager, Reconnect Austin (I-35, Austin TX)
Brian Dold, Director of Planning & Advocacy, Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy (Scajacuada Expressway, Buffalo NY)
Patrick Kennedy, Founder, A New Dallas (I-345, Dallas TX)
Ari Ofsevit, Campaign Leader, LivableStreets Alliance (I-90 Allston Interchange, Boston MA)
Lisa Saenz, Community Connector, Choice Neighborhood People Team and Dan Shah, Director, West Colfax Business Improvement District (Route 70 Colfax/Federal Interchange, Denver CO)
Amy Stelly, Designer & Planner, Claiborne Avenue Alliance (Claiborne Expressway (I-10), New Orleans, LA)
Brian Stokle, Transportation Planner and Founding Member, ConnectOAKLAND (I-980 Spur, Oakland CA)
Stacy Thompson, Executive Director, LivableStreets Alliance (McGrath Highway, Somerville MA)

BREAK
10:45 – 11:00 AM

SESSION 1: THE FUNDAMENTAL TRANSPORTATION ARGUMENT: TRAFFIC AND MODELING FOR HIGHWAY TRANSFORMATION
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Confirmed speakers:
Norm Marshall, President, Smart Mobility Inc.
Lisa Saenz, Community Connector, Choice Neighborhood People Team

A perceived negative impact on traffic is one of the most common arguments encountered against the conversion of a highway into surface streets, avenues, and boulevards. However, in many cases, surface streets integrated into a street network are demonstrably able to accommodate similar vehicle capacities as freeways, while at the same time providing improved transit options. In this session, we discuss how to make effective traffic arguments for highway transformation and offer a toolkit for its advocates to more confidently approach traffic impact analyses.

This session consists of one 15-minute talk by a leading practitioner and one 15-minute talk by a campaign organizer, followed by 30 minutes of open conversation and discussion around the topic.

LUNCH
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

SESSION 2: THE ECONOMICS OF HIGHWAY TRANSFORMATION: INCENTIVES AND FUNDING
1:00 – 2:00 PM

Confirmed speakers:
Dan Shah, Director, West Colfax Business Improvement District

The maintenance of elevated highways is expensive. Many of these urban highways are approaching the end of their lifespan and have become broken liabilities. This presents a prime opportunity to redevelop elevated expressways into socially and economically valuable places. In this session, we discuss the economic benefits of highway transformation and how they can be leveraged to serve members of the current community. While not nearly as expensive as highway replacement, highway transformation still requires sources of funding, which we will also discuss as part of this session.

This session consists of one 15-minute talk by a leading practitioner and one 15-minute talk by a campaign organizer, followed by 30 minutes of open conversation and discussion around the topic.

SESSION 3: THE POLITICS OF HIGHWAY TRANSFORMATION
2:00 – 3:00 PM

Confirmed speakers:
John Norquist, Mayor of Milwaukee (1988-2004)
Brian Stokle, Transportation Planner and Founding Member, ConnectOAKLAND

Highway transformation is a collaborative effort. Grassroots campaigns start with community members, but eventually collaborate with local and state officials in order to achieve their vision. In this session, we discuss how to approach and gain the support of city councils, mayors, and the elected state officials who bring political capital to a campaign and help make highway transformation a reality.

This session consists of one 15-minute talk by a leading practitioner and one 15-minute talk by a campaign organizer, followed by 30 minutes of open conversation and discussion around the topic.

BREAK
3:00 – 3:15 PM

SESSION 4: COMMUNICATION AND MESSAGING FOR HIGHWAY TRANSFORMATION
3:15 – 4:15 PM

Confirmed speakers:
David Dixon, Planning and Urban Design Leader, Stantec's Urban Places
Ari Ofsevit, Campaign Leader, LivableStreets Alliance

It takes time to change perceptions on traffic, vehicle movement, and public infrastructure. And more often than not, it takes a vision. In this session, we discuss the communication and messaging strategies that can help convey this vision and gather support within the community to increase the conversion rate of highways to boulevards.

This session consists of one 15-minute talk by a leading practitioner and one 15-minute talk by a campaign organizer, followed by 30 minutes of open conversation and discussion around the topic.

PERSPECTIVES ON HIGHWAY TRANSFORMATION
4:15 – 5:15 PM

Public transportation officials discuss their roles and activities in highway transformation.

THE FUTURE OF HIGHWAY TRANSFORMATION: NEXT STEPS
5:15 – 6:00 PM

CAMPAIGN POSTER SESSION AND HAPPY HOUR
6:00 – 7:00 PM

Monday | September 17

TOUR: NEW ORLEANS' TREMÉ NEIGHBORHOOD AND THE CLAIBORNE EXPRESSWAY
8:00 - 10:00 AM

Registration

Experience firsthand the Claiborne Corridor and Tremé neighborhood in New Orleans, a city neighborhood split by the six-lane, elevated Claiborne Expressway (I-10). Led by Amy Stelly, urban planner, designer, and campaign leader, and David Dixon, urban planner and designer, this tour will begin on Canal Street to first consider successful models for boulevards in New Orleans before looking at the potential to redevelop the elevated expressway back into the vibrant avenue it once was. Throughout the tour, we will tackle the very real issues of gentrification and displacement that have spurred neighborhood opposition and discuss how to ensure that the economic value unlocked by taking down an elevated expressway is channeled to serve the members of the current community.

LEADERSHIP MEETING
10:30 AM – 1:30 PM

Event Speakers

Heyden Black Walker

Heyden Black Walker, CNU-A, is an urban planner with Black + Vernooy, former teacher, and mother of two young adults in Austin, Texas. She co-founded Reconnect Austin, a community-based call to lower and cover the main lanes of I-35, creating a vision for a multimodal corridor that reconnects communities and builds value. Heyden holds a Masters in Community in Regional Planning from UT-Austin and serves on the City of Austin Pedestrian Advisory Council, Multimodal Community Advisory Committee, and Bond Corridor Focus Group. She also serves on the boards of directors for the Congress for the New Urbanism – Central Texas Chapter; VisionZeroATX; and Walk Austin. Heyden is a member of the Statewide Pedestrian Safety Coalition and is a 2016 Fellow of the National Walking College.

David Dixon

David leads planning and urban design for Stantec’s Urban Places, an interdisciplinary initiative that integrates urban disciplines to help communities benefit from the accelerating pace of demographic, economic, and technological change.

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) summed up David’s career with its highest honor for achievement in the public sphere, the Thomas Jefferson Medal and Residential Architecture named him to their Hall of Fame as “the person we call when we have questions about cities.” CNU has recognized his work with more than a dozen Charter Awards. The American Planning Association (APA) honored New Orleans’ post-Katrina Master Plan, which David led, with its Hard-Won Victory Award.

David is proud of initiating a national dialogue about the essential role “walkable density” plays in unlocking greater urban opportunity and fulfilling our shared responsibility to make communities more livable, equitable and resilient—including strategies to ensure that the advent of autonomous mobility promotes these core qualities. He walks his talk—working closely with his Urban Places colleagues to plan for more than $10 billion of investment in dense, lively, walkable urban districts in cities and suburbs alike.

David is the co-author of Urban Design for and Urban Century (Wiley, 2010) and co-editor of Suburban Remix: creating the next generation of urban places (Island Press, 2018).

Brian Dold

Brian Dold is the Director of Planning and Advocacy with the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy, a not-for-profit, membership-based organization, responsible for the maintenance and operations of Buffalo’s beloved Olmsted Park and Parkway System.

Mr. Dold has been working with the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy for over fifteen years. During this time he played a key role in developing the award winning Buffalo Olmsted Parks System: Plan for the 21st Century, published in 2008. Since 2008, leading the effort to execute the 21st Century Plan, Brian has assisted the BOPC in securing over $8.5 million in capital project fund through various grant awards.

As part of his role in directing parks advocacy, Brian is Chair of the Scajaquada Corridor Coalition whose mission is to unite Buffalo communities north, south, east and west in advocating for the removal of the NYS Route #198, which lacerated Delaware Park and shredded the connections within our community. The SCC believes that a comprehensive, community-inspired 21st century design alternative to this 20th century highway will restore our historic parks and parkway system, connect our neighborhoods, create complete safe streets and enhance the economic vitality of the City of Buffalo.

A Buffalo native, Brian Dold earned his Bachelors of Science in Landscape Architect from Cornell University in 2003. In 2009 he attended a two week intensive seminar at the Historic Landscape Institute at the University of Virginia. In 2015 he completed the Not for Profit Management Development Program of the Harvard Business School Alumni Club. Brian has served on the Board of the Western New York Environmental Alliance and as Chair of the Parks and Recreation Working Group 2012-2018.

Norm Marshall

Norm Marshall, President of Smart Mobility Inc., specializes in analyzing the relationships between the built environment and travel behavior and doing planning that coordinates multi-modal transportation with land use and community needs. He has completed projects in over 30 states for state departments of transportation, Metropolitan Planning Organizations, cities, and public interest groups.

Mr. Marshall’s current primary focus is documenting how conventional transportation modeling overestimates the benefits of road capacity, and demonstrating how better modeling confirms the feasibility of roadway downsizing.

Mr. Marshall graduated from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 1977 with a B.S. in Mathematics and from Dartmouth College in 1982 with a M.S. in Engineering Sciences. He has many peer-reviewed publications and presentations.

Mr. Marshall is co-leader of the Congress for the New Urbanism project for Transportation Modeling Reform.

John Norquist

John Norquist’s work promoting New Urbanism as an alternative and antidote to sprawl's social and environmental problems draws on his experience as big-city mayor and his service as President and CEO of the Congress for the New Urbanism from 2004 to 2014. Under his leadership as Mayor of Milwaukee from 1988-2004, the city experienced a revision of the city’s zoning code and reoriented development around walk-able streets and public amenities such as the 3.1 mile river-walk . He led the successful fight to remove the Park East Freeway in Milwaukee and replace it with a boulevard and tax base supporting development.

Norquist is the author of The Wealth of Cities and has taught courses in urban planning and development at the University of Chicago, Marquette University, DePaul University and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s School of Architecture and Urban Planning. Most recently he served for a year as the John M. DeGrove Eminent Scholar at Florida Atlantic University. Norquist writes articles, lectures and is working on a book Federal programs that help and hurt cities. He and his wife Susan Mudd live in Chicago with their 16 year old daughter Katherine.

Dan Shah

Dan Shah is an experienced community and economic development leader who offers expertise in commercial corridor revitalization, equitable placemaking, pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, real estate development, and sustainability best practices. He brings extensive experience working and reflecting on strategies to achieve social change through non-profit and for-profit enterprises, as a legal advisor and executive director. This includes ten years' experience as a social enterprise director at a CDC in New Jersey and with Business Improvement Districts in Denver. His private and public sector legal experience includes twelve years of legal counsel to dozens of small business and non-profit clients working toward social change, and six years running a community development law clinic at Temple Law School.

Amy Stelly

Amy Stelly is an artist, designer, and planner. Her body of work includes architectural and urban design, along with abstract painting, drawing, mask-making, photography, mixed-media and three-dimensional construction.

As a designer and planner, her scope of work includes building and open space, design, historic restoration, downtown and neighborhood revitalization, environmental planning, municipal zoning, incentives, entitlements, site planning, streetscapes and gardens. Amy has studied and worked with acclaimed masters, including Andres Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk and the late Charles Moore.

She is a native of New Orleans and lives in Treme. She’s an advocate for water safety, water management and public accountability. Amy has written about the value of community engagement and lectured on urban gardens and the history of planning and open space in Treme.

Stacy Thompson

Stacy is the Executive Director of LivableStreets, overseeing all programs including Vision Zero, Better Buses, and the Emerald Network, and ensuring overall programmatic and operational excellence for the organization.

A relentless optimist, Stacy is undaunted by the many challenges facing Metro Boston today, including increasing access to jobs and affordable housing, improving safety and public health outcomes, and building climate resiliency. Stacy believes that improving our streets isn’t simply a transportation issue, but one of justice, equity, and opportunity.

Previously, Stacy served as the Director of Events & Sponsorship at Ceres, a sustainability nonprofit organization, where she developed the strategic focus, content, and communications for major events. She also worked for the Office for Peace and Justice at the Archdiocese of Chicago where she collaborated with community partners to organize educational forums and supported a broad array of social justice initiatives. She has a Master of Arts in Social Justice from Loyola University and a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Education from Saint Vincent College.

Event Hotel & Travel

A limited number of rooms at a special conference rate are available at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel, 500 Canal Street, New Orleans, LA. The rate is $179 USD for a single/double + applicable taxes. The hotel is accessible by public transportation and is located in a walkable and bicycle friendly area. Rooms may be reserved online or by calling the hotel by/before August 25, 2018.

To Reserve

  • Online
  • By Phone: 800 663 9255 North America
  • By Phone: 800 325 3535 World Wide
Event Rates

General Registration

Registration is $150 USD for CNU members and $175 USD for non-members. Registration includes both the program on Sunday, September 16th that features highway transformation as well as access to the Project for Transportation Reform’s leadership meetings, which will take place on the morning of Monday, September 17th.

Please note that registration for the Transportation Summit is separate from the registration for Walk Bike Places

Tours

Experience firsthand the Claiborne Corridor and Tremé neighborhood in New Orleans, a city neighborhood split by the six-lane, elevated Claiborne Expressway (I-10). Led by Amy Stelly, urban planner, designer, and campaign leader, and David Dixon, urban planner and designer, this tour will begin on Canal Street to first consider successful models for boulevards in New Orleans before looking at the potential to redevelop the elevated expressway back into the vibrant avenue it once was. Throughout the tour, we will tackle the very real issues of gentrification and displacement that have spurred neighborhood opposition and discuss how to ensure that the economic value unlocked by taking down an elevated expressway is channeled to serve the members of the current community.

CNU is not charging a fee for this tour, but requests attendees bring a $5-10 cash donation for the tour leaders to go toward the Claiborne Expressway Campaign. If you would like to join the tour, please register through the link below. Registration for each tour is limited to 25 attendees.

Tour: New Orleans' Tremé neighborhood and the Claiborne Expressway (Saturday, September 15th, 4:00-6:00 PM)

Tour: New Orleans' Tremé neighborhood and the Claiborne Expressway (Monday, September 17th, 8:00-10:00 AM)

CNU's 2018 Transportation Summit focuses on the revitalization of urban neighborhoods disrupted by limited-access highways and the local campaigns to transform these disruptive arteries into surface boulevards. In particular, we are seeking input from the organizers of these campaigns as we bring together leading experts and practitioners in transportation from around the country.

This year's Transportation Summit will convene September 16-17, 2018 at the Preservation Resource Center in New Orleans, LA. During the first day of the Summit, participants will hear from highway transportation campaign leaders as well as national experts engaged in a number of current teardown projects. The second day of the summit is more internally focused, as CNU members will present and discuss issues critical to CNU's Project for Transportation Reform. All are welcome to attend both days, but registration is limited to 80 people.

The summit will take place at the same time as Walk Bike Places, organized by Project for Public Spaces (PPS).

This Transportation Summit provides an opportunity to share success stories, collectively tackle hurdles, and plan strategically to increase the conversion rate of highways to boulevards in cities and towns across America. Check back here for additional information as the Transportation Summit approaches. Please do not hesitate to send questions to Ben Crowther at bcrowther@cnu.org.

Photo: Chattanooga Riverfront Parkway replaced an elevated highway that was a barrier to the waterfront.