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Context-sensitive design around the country : Some examples

By: Publication details: Washington DC Transportation research E-circular E-C067, 2004Description: 54 sSubject(s): Online resources: Abstract: The major focus of highway agencies throughout the country is to provide a safe and efficient transportation system. In the past, these agencies did not always seek input on projects from other affected parties. Moreover, efficiency, and thus mobility, has been defined as moving traffic at high speeds. In the last decades, communities have increased their sense of historical, cultural, and environmental values that play an important role in shaping a community identity. Highway projects that in the past emphasized mobility and cost-effectiveness may conflict with such community values. There have been several instances where highway projects have been delayed because their design conflicted with community desires and values. Recently, designing roadways to consider the capacity and safety issues while addressing its physical and human environmental setting has been emphasized through Context-Sensitive Design (CSD) initiatives. CSD is defined as the project development process, including geometric design, that attempts to address safety and efficiency while being responsive to or consistent with, the road.s natural and human environment. It addresses the need for a more systematic and all-encompassing approach in project development which recognizes the interdependency of all stages and views them along a continuum. To achieve such balance, trade-offs among several factors are needed and are routinely made in most projects. Considering flexibility as part of the geometric design of roadways is not a new concept, since it has been stated clearly in the foreword of the Green Book since its first edition. Moreover, there are several projects throughout the country that have encompassed CSD principles and have been designed and constructed to fit the specific context and needs of the project.
Item type: Reports, conferences, monographs
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The major focus of highway agencies throughout the country is to provide a safe and efficient transportation system. In the past, these agencies did not always seek input on projects from other affected parties. Moreover, efficiency, and thus mobility, has been defined as moving traffic at high speeds. In the last decades, communities have increased their sense of historical, cultural, and environmental values that play an important role in shaping a community identity. Highway projects that in the past emphasized mobility and cost-effectiveness may conflict with such community values. There have been several instances where highway projects have been delayed because their design conflicted with community desires and values. Recently, designing roadways to consider the capacity and safety issues while addressing its physical and human environmental setting has been emphasized through Context-Sensitive Design (CSD) initiatives. CSD is defined as the project development process, including geometric design, that attempts to address safety and efficiency while being responsive to or consistent with, the road.s natural and human environment. It addresses the need for a more systematic and all-encompassing approach in project development which recognizes the interdependency of all stages and views them along a continuum. To achieve such balance, trade-offs among several factors are needed and are routinely made in most projects. Considering flexibility as part of the geometric design of roadways is not a new concept, since it has been stated clearly in the foreword of the Green Book since its first edition. Moreover, there are several projects throughout the country that have encompassed CSD principles and have been designed and constructed to fit the specific context and needs of the project.

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