CNU trains for Designing Walkable Urban Thoroughfares in Blue Springs, MO

CNU, Better! Cities & Towns
July-August 2012

In June 2012, CNU teamed up with the City of Blue Springs, Missouri, to host a Designing Walkable Urban Thoroughfares Workshop for planners, engineers, and community leaders within the region. Participants received instruction on the ITE/CNU Designing Walkable Urban Thoroughfares manual and learned context-sensitive, multimodal approaches to street design. They also took part in working groups to discuss walkable and sustainable design solutions for the intersection of Highways 7 and 40 in Blue Springs.

Stacey Meekins of Sam Schwartz Engineering, CNU Board member Marcy McInelly of Urbsworks, and CNU President and CEO John Norquist led the Designing Walkable Urban Thoroughfares Workshop.

According to Blue Springs Community Development Director Scott Allen: “The workshop was a great foundational step towards reaching our goals for a more walkable, and bikeable, core intersection in Blue Springs. We had a phenomenal turnout of over 30 participants from numerous backgrounds, including Planning Commissioners, MoDOT, Mid-America Regional Council, business owners, PTA representatives, health advocates, and neighboring communities. The presentations by CNU staff and consultants provided a strong conceptual framework for the participants to use in their brainstorming of alternative roadway designs. We hope to carry this momentum forward by implementing several of the short-term strategies beginning already this year. Our ultimate goal is to see these new principles applied not only at the 40 and 7 intersection but throughout both corridors and at other major intersections throughout the city. This workshop and its outcomes merge perfectly with our April walkability workshop that looked more at neighborhood scale pedestrian and bicycling improvements. Together we have a more complete toolbox as we strive to make Blue Springs safe and inviting for all modes of transportation.”

The Blue Springs workshop was funded in part by the US EPA’s Office of Sustainable Communities under their Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Program, via a grant to the Project for Public Spaces (PPS). The Building Blocks program funds quick, targeted assistance to communities that face common development problems.

Assistance was provided by the Congress for the New Urbanism as part of its partnership in Livability Solutions.