Public Works Department

Top 3

01
Shift vehicle fleet to natural gas, electric, and other clean fuels; open fueling stations to the public.
02
Aid in building and creating walkable and bikeable streetscapes.
03
Ensure optimal traffic flow through signal coordination.

Cleaner Vehicles and Fuels

Convert Provo’s vehicle fleet to cleaner (Tier 3, CNG, and electric) vehicles

Converting from “Tier 2” to “Tier 3” fuel is among the most highly leveraged and cost-effective air quality controls measures available.[i] CNG and electric vehicles also produce fewer emissions than vehicles powered by traditional petroleum-based fuels.[ii]

Tool: Convert Provo’s vehicle fleets to clean fuel vehicles or vehicles with a smog rating of 8, 9, or 10.

The City has a large vehicle fleet and can set an example of responsible transportation to Provo’s residents and other cities by converting to clean fuel vehicles.

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[iii]

Resource

Case Studies

Tool: Use natural gas use for heavy vehicles, like busses and trucks.

Large trucks and busses which are typically diesel-fueled can substantially improve emissions through conversions to natural gas.

Resource

Urban Form

Create a connected, complete, and safe bicycle and pedestrian system; emphasize navigational simplicity and connecting key neighborhoods, destinations, and transit.

One of the most important reasons commuters do not use active transportation to get to work or school is because they feel it is unsafe, and the sidewalk and bike lane networks are not continuous or well-maintained. It is important to develop complete alternative transportation networks in order for them to be useful and used by commuters.

Tool: Adopt a “Complete Streets” approach and philosophy that all streets and development on streets be designed and operated to enable safe access for all users, ages, and abilities.

Complete streets policies direct transportation planners and engineers to consistently design streets with all users in mind (drivers, transit riders, pedestrians, bicyclists, the elderly, children, and people with disabilities). Many jurisdictions around the country have adopted Complete Streets policies and national model policies can be used as a starting point. A Complete Streets policy is one effective way to institutionalize the goals of this plan within the City.

Resources

Case Study

Tool: Develop bicycle parking requirements including long-term bike parking.

Convenient and secure bicycle parking—including bike racks, bike lockers, and covered bike parking—is essential to making bicycling a legitimate and viable transportation options. If Provo residents know that, no matter where they’re going, they will be able to find a secure place to lock their bicycles, they would able to consider bicycling as a transportation option. Thorough bicycle parking requirements account for both short-term and long-term parking, promote proper siting and layout, and allow for conversion of vehicular parking to bicycle parking.

Resource

Case Studies

Tool: Require or provide end of trip facilities (such as changing rooms or showers) for bicyclists and pedestrians in dense employment areas.

Commuters who bicycle or walk to work can often arrive wet, muddy or sweaty. In order to make walking or cycling to work viable for many employees, showers and changing facilities (either on-site or close to work) are a necessary amenity.

Resources

Case Study

  • Indy Bike Hub, Indianapolis. The Indy Bike Hub is a partnership between the City of Indianapolis, the YMCA, and Bicycle Garage Indy (a local bike shop). Situated on the Indianapolis Cultural Trail, the Bike Hub provides an ideal location for downtown employees to shower, change and store their bicycles. Other amenities such as a full service bike shop and exercise gym are also present on-site.
    http://indybikehub.org/

Tool: Establish a connectivity retrofit plan for existing developments in order to improve pedestrian and bicycle access.

Creating route connections can provide access to many parts of the pedestrian system that would otherwise not be linked. Creating direct routes promotes biking and walking while decreasing vehicle emissions by shortening trip lengths.

Case Study

Tool: Require a physical separation between the sidewalk and street such as park strip, on-street parking or paved tree grate area.

Streetscape requirements that provide physical separation between pedestrian, cyclists and automobiles, create a safer, more walkable environment. Street trees provide shade and separation from automobiles and help to calm traffic. On-street parking and parked cars provide a buffer for cyclists and pedestrians.

Resource

Tool: Coordinate connectivity of trails, bikeways and pedestrian facilities.

Connectivity is a key to making biking and walking convenient. Connectivity standards should include coordination among different city departments to encourage connectivity between destinations. New development or redevelopment should require designated bikeways. Street networks should be designed to ensure connectivity for pedestrians and cyclists.

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[v]

Tool: Maintain an up-to-date bicycle and pedestrian master plan to coordinate connectivity of trails, bikeways and pedestrian facilities.

Maintaining an up-to-date master plan helps to ensure pedestrian friendly policies and design within future development. Updating the City’s master plan allows them to build on past successes while developing a future guide for new visions and policies. Provo currently has a Bicycle Master Plan which was adopted in September of 2013. The City should also consider developing a Pedestrian Master Plan to complement the existing Bicycle Master Plan.

Resources

Tool: Provide lighting along streets, trails and public spaces to ensure, walking, biking, or other active transportation options are safe.

The use of appropriate lighting along sidewalks, crosswalks and public spaces creates a safer and more comfortable environment for cyclists and pedestrians. Pedestrian scale lighting promotes safety through traffic calming and illuminated bikeways while discouraging criminal activity. People are encouraged to bike and walk more when they feel safe, especially at night. Lighting requirements should also minimize light pollution.

Resource

Tool: Require pedestrian connectivity through the end of cul-de-sacs.

Cul-de-sacs often force people to take long, indirect routes to their destinations because there is no direct access through the end of a cul-de-sac. For example, if a cul-de-sac is adjacent to a school or park, children in the cul-de-sac may live just a few hundred yards from the school or park. But rather than walking to these destinations, they are driven half a mile in a car because their street is a dead-end with no through-way. They have to take a winding, often busier, route to reach their destinations.

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[vi]

Case Study

  • Cul-de-sac connections, California. Davis, California, requires that cul-de-sacs connect bicycle/pedestrian corridors. “Davis streets shall be connected with multiple route options for bike and pedestrian travel in new and developed areas. Cul-de-sacs are allowed provided they connect to bicycle/pedestrian corridors.” (from the Davis General Plan) http://cityofdavis.org/home/showdocument?id=4809

Tool: Post signs stating the distance and pointing in the direction of multiple popular destinations.

Street signage can provide the same navigational infrastructure for pedestrians and bicyclists as freeway signage does for vehicle traffic. Abundant, clear signage would not only encourage people to use active transportation by facilitating pathway finding, but also makes visitors more comfortable, makes foot and bike traffic feel as important as vehicular traffic.

Ensure that active transportation is measured and appropriately valued within overall transportation planning metrics.

Tool: Use metrics beyond Vehicular Level of Service (LOS) to assess new roadway projects.

Tools such as Multi-modal Level of Service (MMLOS), Bicycle Level of Service (BLOS) or Pedestrian Level of Service (PLOS) can be used to track the success of new roadway projects.

Tool: Develop an annual report describing active transportation metrics.

Tracking significant active transportation criteria including commute to work mode share, funds invested in facilities and programs, number of miles of facilities constructed, collision and health data can help to track the benefits of bicycling and walking within a community.

Resource

Encourage higher density and transit-oriented development.

People are more likely to use active and public transportation if there are small blocks, a high number of street intersections, and higher residential densities. These improvements to the urban environment would influence travel behavior and result in reduced emissions from vehicles by reducing trip distances and frequency.

Tool: Promote a maximum block length of 400’.

Requiring new developments to have block sizes below 400’ increases the pedestrian connectivity and allows for more mobility for cyclists and pedestrians. Traffic capacity also increases when a community has more connected street networks. Large block sizes do not facilitate active transportation.

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[vii]

These are several examples of connected urban environments from Allan Jacobs’ Great Streets. A denser urban fabric—meaning more connected streets and smaller blocks—leads to more street-level activity and more opportunities to replace automobile trips with other trips.

Resource

Tool: Require mid-block crossings on longer blocks.

Midblock crossings allow people to travel to places that are otherwise not served by the existing pedestrian network. If formal crossings are too far apart pedestrians will illegally cross the street, rather than walk to the next intersection. Mid-block crossings increase pedestrian and bicyclist comfort and safety.

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[viii]

Resource

Tool: Require a connectivity index for new streets.

A Connectivity Index can be used to quantify how well a roadway network connects destinations. Indices can be measured separately for motorized and non-motorized travel, taking into account non-motorized shortcuts, such as paths that connect cul-de-sacs, and barriers such highways and roads that lack sidewalks. Several different methods can be used.

Resource

Develop better signal coordination.

According to the Federal Highway Administration, 5% of congested can be attributed to poorly timed traffic signals. It is estimated that each year, the U.S. driving population spends a cumulative 500,000 years in traffic, costing about $100 billion.[ix]

Tool: Conduct traffic pattern analysis.

An analysis of traffic patterns would inform how problem spots that would benefit from traffic light coordination. Such coordination could result in significant reductions in travel times and, therefore, vehicle emissions.

Case Study

Develop a Public Works Sustainability Plan with an emphasis on air.

The Public Works Department has a key role to play in cleaning our air, and it has expertise how to make an impact. Consider the roles you might fulfill in cleaning the air and develop a departmental plan for sustainability with an emphasis on air quality. Develop a method for tracking and measuring progress, and for annual review.

[i] http://www.epa.gov/otaq/documents/tier3/420f14009.pdf

[ii] http://yourutahyourfuture.org/strategies/cornerstone-two

[iii] EPA’s Fuel Economy and Efficiency label. https://www3.epa.gov/carlabel/

[iv] http://www.deseretnews.com/article/705393573/Bike-count-shows-jump-in-cyclists.html

[v] From City of Davis, California. http://cityofdavis.org/home/showdocument?id=4809

[vi] From Lehigh Valley Planning Commission.

[vii] Image from Allan Jacobs’ Great Streets.

[viii] From NACTO Street Design Guide. http://nacto.org/publication/urban-street-design-guide/intersection-design-elements/crosswalks-and-crossings/midblock-crosswalks/

[ix] http://news.discovery.com/autos/traffic-light-flow-drivers.htm