Transportation and Mobility

Transportation and mobility are not just about convenience.   How easily and safely we’re able to get from one place to another has a major effect on our quality of life.  We may be able to get from point A to point B in our car within 5 minutes, but what impact does that have on neighborhoods, pedestrians, cyclists, schools, parks, and businesses.  Studies show that complete streets can positively impact the quality of life and contribute to economic growth. Think of the streets in Midland where the speed limit is about 35mph. Are you familiar with the businesses on those roads?  Prioritizing faster commutes causes declines in business vacancies due to a lack of visibility and unsafe pedestrian conditions. This increases unemployment and disinvestment. 

 

Communities with great livability provide residents and community stakeholders with transportation options that connect people to social activities, economic opportunities, and medical care, and offer convenient, healthy, accessible, and low-cost alternatives to driving. "Streets and squares should be safe, comfortable, and interesting to the pedestrian. Properly configured, they encourage walking and enable neighbors to know each other and protect their communities." (Congress for New Urbanism) "The complete streets approach also means that transportation decisions, plans, and procedures are aligned and designed to accommodate all users of all abilities." (National Complete Streets Coalition)

The following are some of the liveable transportation principles prescribed by Jahn Gehl, Danish architect, and global urban design consultant. 

  • Create great pedestrian environments.

  • Create a great environment for bicycles and other non-motorized vehicles.

  • Provide great, cost-effective public transport.

  • Provide access for clean passenger vehicles at safe speeds and in significantly reduced numbers.

  • Service the city in the cleanest and safest manner.

  • Mix people and activities, buildings, and spaces.

  • Preserve and enhance the local, natural, cultural, social, and historical assets.

  • Make walking trips more direct, interesting, and productive with small-size, permeable buildings, and blocks.

  • Build for the long term. Sustainable cities bridge generations. They are memorable, malleable, built from quality materials, and well maintained.

At the core, the Midland City Modern Master Plan seeks to prioritize the community and not the individual. In the case of transportation and mobility, this means looking at the impact of transportation on neighborhoods, businesses, families, people with varying abilities, people of all ages, people who use methods other than a car for their primary transportation, and vehicle owners.