COVID-19: The Recovery will Happen in Public Space

Expanding the Rightsizing Streets Guide

Apr 29, 2013
Jan 5, 2018
‍Milwaukee's Park East Freeway during demolition / Photo: Milwaukee Department of Development

Today we are unveiling several new resources within the Rightsizing Streets Guide. We're excited to share with you an interactive map featuring more than fifty successful rightsizing projects from around the US. We've also added two new full case studies to the guide. The case studies, contributed by the Congress for the New Urbanism, both illustrate the benefits of the removal of urban freeways—rightsizing at a grand scale!

  • In 2002, removal of the Park East Freeway in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin, opened up 26 acres of centrally-located land to redevelopment. The project increased property values by more than 45% in less than four years. The freeway was replaced by a new surface street, McKinley Avenue, and a restored city grid.
  • In 1992, a portion of San Francisco's towering double-decked Central Freeway was replaced by the tree-lined Octavia Boulevard and a new public square. The  boulevard safely provides space for bicyclists and pedestrians, while slowing traffic exiting the freeway and dispersing it onto the road network without gridlock. Since the conversion, property values have risen, transit trips are up 75%, and retail and restaurants have returned to the neighborhood.

You can read more about CNU’s Highways to Boulevards program on their website.

While the Rightsizing Streets Guide’s case studies are meant to focus in on projects that illustrate certain key aspects of the rightsizing process, we also saw a need to highlight the countless rightsizing projects happening in communities large and small, all across the US. To accomplish this, we've created an interactive map of rightsizing projects within the Guide.

‍Click here to check out our new interactive rightsizing project map!

As of today, the map features 58 examples from communities in 22 states, everywhere from Georgia to Oregon, California to Iowa. By clicking on the pins, you can find basic information about each project, such as the type of conversion, (i.e. 4 lanes to 3 lanes), or what design elements were used (i.e. bike lanes, mid-block crossings). The most important feature of the map that it connects you directly with the agency that oversaw the project, allowing practitioners to reference precedents and seek out colleagues to provide guidance and support.

The rightsizing project map is intended to grow with your help. If you or your organization has been part of a rightsizing project, we would love to feature your success story. On the map page you can find a link to our project submission form. Simply fill out this short form and PPS will add your rightsized street to the map.

The last addition to the Guide is a new resources section with further reading on rightsizing to help connect you with the leading technical research, case studies and reports from trusted organizations such as the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE). These resources provide additional evidence of the safety, traffic, and economic benefits of rightsizing.

Before we lose you to the many hours you're undoubtedly about to spend diving into all of this new rightsizing material, we want to thank the Congress for the New Urbanism for their contribution to the Rightsizing Streets Guide project. Remember that, if you have a project that you believe is particularly illustrative of a key aspect of the rightsizing process, we're always open to adding more case studies to the Guide. Just email us at, with “rightsizing” in the subject line.

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