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Designing Solutions for Safer Streets

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

San Francisco is accustomed to moving lots of people. With all the major events of this month, including Fleet Week, Oracle OpenWorld, Dreamforce and some upcoming athletic events (go, Giants!), we see our fair share of crowds. This week, a smaller group of conference-goers will be focusing on how everyone traveling in San Francisco can move through this and other cities better.

In cities all across North America, communities, elected officials and transportation departments are taking on efforts to design city streets to be safer and more livable, sustainable places for people.

San Francisco is one such city and today through Saturday our city will be hosting a conference of national transportation experts and practitioners to discuss key trends in safety, street design and transportation policy.

The Designing Cities 2014 conference, held by the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) is an annual opportunity for cities and transportation experts to share best practices and set a new, informed course for 21st century street design.

The conference and theme might sound a bit cerebral and wonky to most, but at the end of the day, this conference, the discussions formed and the connections made provide the SFMTA’s engineers, planners and designers with the tools needed to make our streets safer.

For example, California has recently joined seven state DOTs (Department of Transportation) and 39 other cities in endorsing NACTO’s Urban Street Design Guide. The Federal Highway Administration also supports its use across the United States.

What that means is that we, and many other cities, are using a proven toolbox of engineering solutions and tactics to make our streets safer and more inviting for people walking, shopping, parking, driving and biking in an urban environment.

We'd like to take the opportunity to welcome our fellow NACTO members. Along with our director, Ed Reiskin, who is the president of NACTO, we look forward to the enlightening presentations and discussions in the days to come and are thrilled to show off our great city!

For more on the conference happenings (#NACTO14), remember to follow us on Twitter @sfmta_muni as well as our friends over at @NACTO!

N Line light rail train with a dark blue advertising wrap travels east on a tree-lined Duboce Street past the Duboce Park Cafe. A bicycle is parked on the sidewalk. It and the street furniture are in the foreground.