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Designing Walkable Urban Thoroughfares: A Context Sensitive Approach


Walkable communities make walking a desirable and efficient mode of transportation for community residents. The Institute of Transportation Engineers produced this report to examine concepts and principles of Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS) that can be used in communities’ transportation planning and design processes to support walkable communities. Planners and local officials can use this report when planning roadway improvement projects that support walkability and enhance community livability for all residents.

Key Points

The report focuses on applying CSS concepts and principles in the planning and design of urban thoroughfares. Specific planning techniques that incorporate the principles of CSS are discussed throughout Part 2 of the report. This section provides detailed information on the benefits of applying CSS concepts to transportation and land use planning. Part 3 of the report examines the design process of establishing walkable thoroughfares in urban communities and steps for applying CSS concepts at each level of community design plans. Though CSS definitions vary among certain departments of transportation, they share a common set of planning principles, including a balance between mobility, community, and safety; incorporating the public early in the planning and development process; accommodating all travelers regardless of age or ability; and making accessibility an integral part of good design.

How to Use

Planners, local officials, community leaders, and roadway designers can use this report to gain an in-depth understanding of CSS principles and concepts and how applying such elements can improve community livability. The report provides detailed planning and design techniques and recommendations to enhance thoroughfares in urban communities, as well as other areas looking to improve community design tofoster walkability.

View full report: Designing Walkable Urban Thoroughfares: A Context Sensitive Approach (PDF – 11.3 MB)

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