Training and Strategic Planning

All over the country, state and local governments are looking to “right-size” road projects and develop transit to better support community goals and long-term sustainable visions, especially as conventional options, such as adding additional vehicular capacity, become too expensive or prove unsustainable.

PPS’s training workshops can equip stakeholders– transportation practitioners, citizens, elected officials and community organizations–with the knowledge they need to plan and design transportation facilities in a more holistic manner. Equally important, training can be the catalyst for a new type of dialogue among these various stakeholders who rarely, if ever, work together to create great places. PPS blends Smart Growth planning principles with place-based visioning to help professionals and advocates develop strategies for creating more livable communities through transportation.

Main Streets and Downtown Transportation Planning

Streets are the largest public space in any town or city and have great community-building potential. Yet all too often they are primarily designed and managed solely to move cars through a place.

PPS helps communities develop more holistic visions for downtown revitalization, using workshops and observations to brainstorm a more lively mix of stores and services, rationalize traffic patterns and intersections, create streetscapes that support local economic development and create a series of linked destinations. PPS’s downtown programs reinvest neighborhoods in their downtowns and help create streets that knit neighborhoods together, allow for flexibility in programming and activities that enhance the character and identity of the area, and create a more balanced and beautiful street for all users.

Transit and Station Area Planning

Great bus stops and train stations are natural focal points for communities – they are places where people gather, wait, socialize, run errands, and enjoy a refreshment or meal on their way to and from work, school or play. Transit stations and the area around them can be successful sites for markets, small businesses, public services and community-appropriate development.

PPS helps agencies, developers and communities across the country capitalize on access to transit by working with them to better manage stations, integrate them into their communities, and demonstrate their potential for economic development. Leveraging transit stops and stations as places instead of merely transportation facilities has helped communities and agencies increase transit ridership, reduce automobile congestion, improve livability, provide community services, and revitalize adjacent neighborhoods.

Regional Planning and Visioning

Communities that work together across their borders to address shared problems, like congestion and over-development, are more effective at managing them.

PPS helps residents, municipal leaders, developers, and public agencies explore solutions for their centers and corridors beyond conventional road widening and strip development. By adopting integrated transportation and land use strategies, congested commercial corridors can become attractive, thriving, multi-modal boulevards that link together a series of places, enhance the community at large, and ease congestion by reducing the number of cars on the road. Mapping the destinations, or special “places,” in a region can also help ensure transportation investments are made in the optimal location, for the most desirable mode of travel.

Research and Publications

Since PPS’s founding in 1975, research has always been a major component of our work, both in seeking out the most relevant and successful cases of community-responsive civic design and in assessing how and if specific innovations and approaches accomplish their intended goals. Publication of these findings is essential to equipping transportation agencies and advocates with empirical research on what strategies best contribute to sustainability, safety, and livability.

PPS continues to conduct cutting-edge research projects with institutional partners and public agencies, including the Transportation Research Board and the Federal Transit Administration. Every year, PPS also publishes guides on various facets of community-based transportation planning. These vary from technical guides on how to conduct corridor planning to citizen guides on how to collaborate with transportation agencies to city-specific manuals for how to transform streets into community places.