MassDOT becomes second state DOT to endorse NACTO Urban Street Design Guide

New York — The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) officially endorsed the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) Urban Street Design Guide, a concrete vision for safe, livable streets. Further bolstering the agency’s commitment to sustainable transportation, the endorsement cements MassDOT as a leader in creating pedestrian, bicycle, and transit-friendly streets, NACTO said.

“Our goal is to foster transportation decisions that balance the needs of all transportation users, expand mobility, improve public health, support a cleaner environment, and create stronger communities around the Commonwealth,” said MassDOT Secretary & CEO Richard A. Davey. “The Urban Street Design Guide is a valuable tool, providing essential design principles for safe, multi-modal urban streets and attractive public spaces that embody our sustainability mission.”

With their statewide endorsement, MassDOT becomes the second State Department of Transportation to officially endorse the Guide, following Washington state DOT’s endorsement in December 2013.

“MassDOT’s commitment to complete streets and healthy transportation provides a strong framework for progress in communities across Massachusetts,” said NACTO President and SFMTA Director Ed Reiskin. “Nationally, MassDOT’s leadership will open the door for other State DOTs to endorse the Urban Street Design Guide.”

In September 2013, MassDOT issued a Healthy Transportation Policy Directive formalizing the agency’s commitment to multi-modalism and requiring that all MassDOT funded or designed projects seek to increase and encourage walking, bicycling and talking transit. This Directive also instructed the agency to refer to the NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide for the design of bicycle facilities in state projects.

“The NACTO Urban Street Design Guide will be a great resource for Massachusetts. Because it offers so many different design options, it can be applied in different urban contexts across the Commonwealth,” said Ned Codd, Assistant Secretary for GreenDOT. “It lays out in clear language the principles that go into building a sustainable, multi-modal urban street, and it provides great diagrams that can really help practitioners visualize how a street can look and operate.”

“From the GreenDOT initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support smart growth development, to the agency’s ambitious goal of tripling the share of trips made by bicycling, walking or taking transit in Massachusetts by 2030, MassDOT is a national leader in integrating environmental responsibility and quality of life goals into all transportation sectors,” said Thomas J. Tinlin, Chief of Operations and Maintenance at MassDOT and former Commissioner of the Boston Transportation Department.

MassDOT joins a growing group of transportation departments leading the charge for world-class urban street design. In addition to Massachusetts and Washington State DOTs, 27 cities have endorsed the Urban Street Design Guide, including Boston and Somerville, Mass.

The endorsement campaign for the Urban Street Design Guide will run through May 1, 2014. Letters of endorsement and city council resolutions supporting the Guide are available on NACTO’s website at  

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