EP 651 Highway Planning Leaves Many on the Side of the Road


The car-dominant approach to US transportation planning has led to the construction of freeways and roadways that have torn apart and devalued communities, especially affecting Black and Brown individuals.  With a boatload of new cash going into infrastructure in America, thanks to the bipartisan Infrastructure bill passed by the last Congress and signed by President Biden, will we acknowledge past failings and look to design getting around in ways that emphasize greater health, safety, fairness and resiliency in our communities?  Our guest, Lynn Peterson, who along with Elizabeth Doerr, authored the book “Roadways for People: Rethinking Transportation Planning and Engineering” is trying to describe what true community engagement means in developing plans for the future and convince fellow engineers that plans that put vehicles, project schedules and budgets ahead of people are designs for failure.  She describes the process of moving from the Practical Design approach to demand management.  And while there are many examples of multi-modal approaches to transportation, which have come about with the public’s active participation, they are too few and far between.