National Association of City Transportation Officials

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The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) is a coalition of the Departments of Transportation in North American cities.

Founded in 1996 by former New York City Transportation Commissioner Elliot Sander, NACTO's mission is a commitment to "raising the state of the practice for street design and transportation by building a common vision, sharing data, peer-to-peer exchange in workshops and conferences, and regular communication among member cities." Since its founding, NACTO has participated in a number of research initiatives dealing with surface transportation in urban areas. Past campaigns have focused on bicycling, bus rapid transit, light rail, bike share, and freight. Its design guides have gained the endorsement of numerous cities, states, and other organizations, in addition to gaining FHWA acceptance for use in conjunction with other mandated guidance and resources.[1] NACTO is headquartered in New York City.

Initiatives[edit]

Cities for Cycling[edit]

NACTO’s Cities for Cycling project launched in 2009 to advance the state-of-the-practice in bikeway design in the United States.

Designing Cities[edit]

NACTO’s Designing Cities Initiative launched in 2012 with the goal of drastically advancing innovative street design and transportation engineering practices in the United States. The initiative works with government officials to improve street design in urban environments. One facet of this Initiative is the Urban Bikeway Design Guide, whose purpose is provide cities with state-of-the-practice solutions that can help create complete streets that are safe and enjoyable for bicyclists.[2]

Designing Cities Conference[edit]

Since 2012, NACTO has held an annual Designing Cities Conference, convening hundreds of "transportation leaders and practitioners from across the country to discuss key trends in urban street design and transportation policy." Conference sites have included:

Global Designing Cities[edit]

In October 2014, the Global Designing Cities Initiative was launched as a subsidiary of NACTO to bring guidance for safe streets to an international audience. It focuses on the critical role of streets within urban environments in cities around the world. The initiative facilitates the exchange of transportation ideas, insights and best practices among large international cities, while committing to working with a variety of stakeholders to help them shape streets in a manner that promotes public health and safety, economic development, environmental sustainability, and social and cultural value. The Initiative paired with Bloomberg Philanthropies' Initiative for Global Road Safety, which seeks to reduce traffic deaths, particularly in developing countries where traffic death rates are very high [1]. The Initiative was announced at NACTO's 2014 Designing Cities Conference in San Francisco.[3]

The initiative will work especially close with the 10 cities chosen to be a focus of the Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety: Accra, Addis Ababa, Bandung, Bangkok, Bogota, Fortaleza, Ho Chi Minh City, Mumbai, Sao Paulo, and Shanghai.

Bike Share[edit]

The NACTO Bike Share initiative aims to strengthen bike sharing programs in its member cities, with a focus on improving social equity impact and reaching underrepresented groups. The Bike Share initiative provides bike share program managers and cities with best-practices research as well as a forum to exchange knowledge.

Guidebooks[edit]

NACTO guidebooks provide innovative street design guidelines, made specifically for urban settings. All NACTO guides are available free on their website.

Urban Bikeway Design Guide[edit]

In March 2011 the NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide, part of the Cities for Cycling initiative, was officially released. Janette Sadik-Khan, the New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner, announced the release at the National Bike Summit in Washington, D.C.[4] The Bikeway Design Guide provides technical guidance on over twenty different bicycle infrastructure designs. These include buffered bike lanes, cycle tracks, bike boxes, and several other treatments which have not been officially adopted into AASHTO or MUTCD manuals. Many of these designs have already been implemented in cities across the United States and are widely used in Europe and Canada. Bicycle facilities from New York City and Portland, Oregon, are heavily featured in the guide, though case studies from cities all throughout the United States are represented as well. A second edition was released in 2012. The Guide is available free on their website

Urban Street Design Guide[edit]

The Urban Street Design Guide, published in September 2013, provides guidance for innovative street design in urban areas. The Guide lists six principles for urban street design:[5]

  • Streets Are Public Spaces.
  • Great Streets Are Great for Businesses.
  • Streets Can Be Changed.
  • Design for Safety.
  • Streets Are Ecosystems.
  • Act Now!

The Guide is available free on their website.

Global Street Design Guide[edit]

Supported by the Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety, this project will develop new guidelines to help cities across the world—especially the developing world—create safe and sustainable streets. The Global Designing Cities Initiative will assemble a Global Street Design Guide for cities around the world. This will be based on a series of principles that are ground-tested with participating cities and experts, with accompanying technical detail that outlines strategies for building high-quality public streets in various contexts for cities around the globe. The guide will be available free on their website in early 2017.

Transit Street Design Guide[edit]

The NACTO Transit Street Design Guide, showcasing how to improve transit using innovative street design, was published in April 2015.[6] The Guide is available free on their website.

Membership[edit]

Membership is open to cities in the US, Canada, and Mexico. Full member cities must have more than 300,000 residents or be the core city in a metropolitan statistical area with at least 2 million people. Affiliate membership is offered to cities with fewer than 300,000 residents; NACTO bylaws also offer affiliate membership to cities with more than 300,000 residents that are secondary cities in an MSA with a larger core city (e.g. Oakland, where San Francisco is the core city in its MSA).

In 2015, NACTO began offering affiliate membership for transit agencies.[7]

As of early 2017, NACTO has over 50 member cities. A full list of members is available on the NACTO website.

Leadership[edit]

NACTO’s Executive Board is made up of four elected full Member representatives, one Affiliate Member representative, and the Chair of the Strategic Advisory Board. The Executive Board is elected by NACTO member city representatives.

References[edit]

National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) Official Website

NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide