In 2010, PPS developed a Street Typology system for the City of Brunswick, Maine. Brunswick realized that their focus on tuning their streets for moving vehicular traffic was constricting commerce and quality of life, while also threatening bicycle and pedestrian safety. PPS worked with Brunswick on a plan to rebalance their streets to support all modes of transportation, boost economic development and enhance quality of life.
PPS facilitated a community engagement process to inform the development of the Street Typology system, working with stakeholders and city residents to articulate their vision and needs for different street types. Brunswick’s transportation staff, along with best practices from street design manuals informed the specific design guidelines for each of 10 street typologies – which ranged from Highways to Drives to Destination Streets and Shared Use Paths. The Street Typology system was designed to ensure that Brunswick transportation network meets the needs of all of its users, including drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists, and public transportation riders. Each street type has a set of goals, context, and design values associated with it, including guidelines for vehicular lanes; pedestrian, transit, and bicyclist accommodation; parking; vehicle design speed; and curb radius; among others.
The Street Typology system was adopted by Brunswick in January 2011. Excited by the potential to reshape their streets, Brunswick then worked with PPS to facilitate ‘Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper’ (LQC) changes to test some of the street typology ideas, generate community excitement, and resolve concerns. PPS tapped into the talents of local residents, entrepreneurs, developers, and city staff to create a weekend transformation of Maine Street in the Summer of 2010. Barrels were used to close two of the four lanes during the height of the busiest weekend of the tourist season and real time adjustments were made to the street as local officials monitored the activity. Brunswick is now working on a redesign of Maine Street using the Street Typology and lessons learned from the LQC intervention.