The most dramatic example of how transportation planning is changing can be seen at the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT). In 2000, top officials at NJDOT enlisted PPS to train the state’s traffic engineers in Context-Sensitive Solutions: a new set of ideas showing how to balance the objective of moving cars with the broader goals of preserving the scenic, historic, economic and environmental resources of a community.
PPS Vice President Steve Davies and Senior Associate Toni Gold developed a curriculum to integrate Placemaking techniques into the design of streets and roads. In the first two years alone, more than 500 traffic engineers were taught how to use this new approach based upon working collaboratively with communities. This marked the first time a state DOT had thrown its considerable weight behind a policy of partnership with local communities on traffic issues. The breakthrough in New Jersey has been followed by similar workshops for traffic engineers in California, New York, and Wisconsin.
PPS’s role as a leading advocate of Context-Sensitive Solutions (CSS) took on even greater significance in 2002, when the Federal Highway Administration asked PPS to design a new website devoted to CSS. To be launched in January 2005, the site will speed the implementation of CSS on a national scale by enabling professionals, public officials, and citizens in all 50 states to apply the wisdom of a context-sensitive approach to the design of streets in their communities.