Dynamic and Adaptable Street Design for Sustainable Future
Over 230 million passenger cars travel the streets and roads of the United States contributing to one-fifth of the nation’s total global warming pollution. The United States alone is a home of a billion parking spots. The growth in car‐borne traffic has increased rapidly and consumes more and more land because of the land‐extensive structure of cities and the traffic demand between human activities. Many downtowns devote 50 to 60 percent of their scarce real estate to vehicles. To overcome this hazardous act towards global climate change and real estate, cities must take revolutionary actions that promote sustainable transportation system. Connected, Automated, Shared, and Electric (CASE) are the foreseen future of transportation that could potentially reduce some level of traffic congestion and air pollution. However, a better and cost-efficient solution is encouraging the use of e-scooters, bikes, public transit, and high-occupancy ride-sharing vehicles. Although we have the technology efficiently use these micro-mobility options, our streets are designed for traditional car use. We need to transform our streets that: provide opportunities for all modes of transportation, enable a safe environment for all users, minimize impacts on the environment, encourage investment in the neighborhood, improve aesthetics and quality of life of the community. Cities must smartly invest in environmentally friendly transportation projects that make cities more liveable.
The environment, however, strongly depends on how society, the economy, and the public sector deal with these new technological changes and how they use the wide-range new mobility services. The problem that arises is that since there are no exact ground rules and regulations for the movement of such environment-friendly scooters and automated bikes. In most cities, they can be seen on sidewalks and create numerous problems for the passengers. For this, the public agencies in collaboration with the local community, technologist and urban planners should work on setting comprehensive regulations. Perhaps pilot for sharing bike lanes with scooters and promoting high occupancy ridesharing vehicle could be the immediate actions.
Another approach towards the acceptance of the new technological advancements could be using the dynamic street designs that modify the street layout based on real-time traffic data and using dedicated routes specifically for bikes, scooters or any other transit pod.