America’s state highway departments are ceasing to operate as overbearing Goliaths, and are instead beginning to use context sensitive approaches to working with communities.

New Hampshire has perhaps made the most remarkable change thus far, trying to retain its quality of life by looking for alternatives to faster roads and more cars.

Carol Murray, New Hampshire’s reform-minded transportation commissioner, worked with Project for Public Spaces and other independent consultants to include the public in the decision making process. PPS also assisted NHDOT with writing their long range transportation plan, which joins transportation with land use planning in an effort to reduce travel distances, and addressing needs of the state’s non-drivers — increasing numbers of elderly, children, the handicapped, bikers and pedestrians.

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