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- Articulate the value of programmable streets, as opposed to static streets that are managed the same way all day, every day.
- Describe streets that are programmable in three ways: digitally, physically, and financially.
- List strategies using:
- digital — variable messaging, dynamic pricing;
- physical — modular infrastructure, quick-build; and
- financial — dynamic pricing, Transportation Demand Management.
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Conventional engineering rules have hampered planners' effort to create multiuse, multimodal streets. Responses to COVID revealed opportunities for multiuse streets, although this flexibility may not be permanent. Automobile uses still dominate most cities' priorities, posing a "cars or placemaking" decision. There are physical, digital, and management strategies to achieve both, upending the historic public-works foundation of street design and operations. They all require planners' skills in stakeholder engagement, permitting, planning, and adaptive management. These planning interventions include:
- Physical programming: Modular infrastructure — including moveable planters, gates, lane delineators, and signage — gives planners and public-works partners options for delineating and rearranging space for varied users and uses.
- Digital programming: New technologies help managers collect and analyze data, enhance communications, and modify operations in real time.
- Financial programming: Now, parking meters are the primary source of programming revenue, but rethinking streets as places brings new accounting, revenue, and funding parameters that can include variable rates and streamlined use permits.
Reserving streets for storing and moving cars is among the most inequitable forms of city and neighborhood management. Unlocking social uses and small-scale economic activity should be a centerpiece as cities transform existing assets for greater gains.