N. Stamatiadis, B. Ray

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Pages: 21-32

A review of roadway planning and design practices since the early-20th century demonstrates that engineers have increasingly prioritized building and designing roads that are adapted to their surrounding context. Roadbuilding in the early-20th century focused on delivering road facilities able to operate in all weather conditions, accommodate automobiles, and facilitate personal travel and commerce. The growth in automobile ownership required engineers to work towards alleviating congestion and thus resulting in constructing sprawling infrastructure networks that connect urban and suburban areas — sometimes at the expense of marginalized communities and neighborhood cultures. The late-1990s and early-2000s saw transportation agencies, AASHTO, and NCHRP embrace performance-based approaches to road design that are more sensitive to context. This trend continues today, with novel tools being devised to help engineers carry out a flexible, multimodal, performance-based, and context-sensitive design process built upon the context classification system introduced in A Policy of Geometric Design for Highways and Streets (7th Edition) and expanded through a series of NCHRP research documents. Using W. Broadway Avenue in Louisville, Kentucky, as a case study, this paper illustrates the application of the new context classification system and associated Transportation Expectations to road design. Making use of the latest tools and concepts, the case study shows, will improve project delivery so planners and engineers may also address issues related to public health, community and transportation equity, local cultures, and community needs when crafting design solutions.
Keywords: roadway planning; design, context; context classification