Hands on Exchange

From Saturday, August 11th to Sunday, August 12th Street Plans, the University of Akron, and about 50 total volunteers installed a two-way protected bike lane on the north side of East Exchange Street between Arc Drive and Goodkirk Street. Funded by the Knight Foundation, Hands on Exchange tested new bikeway infrastructure on this portion of Exchange Street in anticipation of the City-led redesign of the street to take place in 2022.

The project kicked off in the Fall of 2017. Street Plans conducted two public workshops over the course of the design process to solicit ideas from the community, and worked alongside the City of Akron and METRO to carefully incorporate the bus routes along the corridor. After several meetings, four bus stops were either relocated or consolidated to make for more efficient traffic flow along Exchange Street, and the design of the bike lane at the bus stops was finalized. The City installed curb ramps at the bus stops to allow for people to safely cross the bike lane to board the bus– which no longer had to pull to the curb at each stop. The goal was to incorporate multiple transportation modes (driving, biking, walking, and transit) in such a way that each would be aware of the other, and inform the design of future projects.

About 9,000 sq. ft. were painted with green or tan traffic paint and about 380 flex stakes were placed along the .75-mile route to bring this project to life. Local businesses along the corridor sponsored free drinks, lunch, and snacks during the build days to all the volunteers that joined the project team.

To execute the project, Street Plans established four stations at the beginning intersection of each segment of the bike lane, and had volunteers work from west to east until each task for each station was completed. Eighty percent of the work was completed in the first day!

The project culminated in a bike party celebration on Friday, August 17th, attended by 100 community members and hosted by the University of Akron. The party had live music, food, and included a celebratory ride with attendees down the bike lane.

The project team hopes that this project not only further informs the City of Akron’s efforts to create multimodal streets, but that it also makes Exchange Street a safer place for all users.  

Check out some photos of the installation during the build days and of the final product below!

Long Beach, CA Materials Guide Workshop

Overall note:

This blog post is one of 6 posts summarizing outcomes of the Beta City Workshop series Street Plans led as part of the Tactical Urbanist’s Guide to Materials and Design project. To learn more about the Materials Guide, click here.

Long Beach, CA Workshop:

Long Beach, CA is one of six “Beta City” partners that Street Plans is working with as part of the Tactical Urbanist’s Guide to Materials and Design project. In working with Beta City partners, Street Plans will deliver a series of workshops designed to expand each City’s familiarity and comfort with planning and executing collaborative demonstration, pilot, and interim design projects.

In Long Beach, Street Plans worked with Long Beach Development Services (LBDS), in partnership with City Fabrick, a non-profit design studio dedicated to transforming communities through public interest design, planning, policy development and civic engagement.

The City’s priority project focused on creating a 1-day demonstration to advance implementation of “streetlets” recommended in the City’s Downtown and TOD Pedestrian Master Plan. As defined in the Plan, a Streetlet is a new type of neighborhood public open space that re-imagines underutilized sections of the street to create hubs of community activity. LBDS staff identified the following goals for the demonstration:

  • Broadening public engagement in the Streetlet planning process, by gathering input from attendees about what a more permanent/interim-design Streetlet should look like.
  • Testing program and design elements to see what resonated with attendees, informing plans for an interim-design project.
  • Providing a pop-up public space amenity to community members, catalyzing excitement among residents and business owners in the project area.

To kick off the process, Street Plans and LBDS hosted a planning meeting to convene partner agencies and organizations, and map out an action plan for creating the one-day Streetlet demonstration. The planning meeting was attended by approximately 12 staff representing a variety of roles across City of Long Beach agencies, including Public Works and Public Health.

Based on outcomes of the planning meeting, Street Plans, LBDS, and CityFabrick worked together to design and implement a 1-day Streetlet demonstration on Saturday, November 12th from 9:00am – 3:00pm.The Streetlet demonstration included street murals, plants and greenery, street furniture, public art, artistic crosswalks, opportunities for physical activity, games, bike rental, and music. Importantly, the demonstration included a number of interactive activities to gather feedback from attendees. Public engagement activities included conversations with the community, comment cards, educational signage, and idea boards. Building from the positive feedback received during the demonstration, LBDS is now moving forward with design and implementation of an interim-design Streetlet where the demonstration took place.

img_3632 img_3600 img_3595streetletlongbeach2

Washington D.C. Materials Guide Workshop

Overall note: 

This blog post is one of 6 posts summarizing outcomes of the Beta City Workshop series Street Plans led as part of the Tactical Urbanist’s Guide to Materials and Design project. To learn more about the Materials Guide, click here

Washington D.C. Workshop: 

Street Plans led a workshop with Washington D.C. on Wednesday, October 26th and was attended by approximately 25 staff representing a variety of roles across each department.

As one of six “Beta City” partners associated with the Tactical Urbanist’s Guide to Materials and Design project, Street Plans led Washington D.C. in a workshop with the goal of expanding the City’s familiarity and comfort with planning and executing collaborative demonstration, pilot, and interim design projects. The workshop focus was developed collaboratively by two workshop coordinators: Dan Emerine – Senior Transportation Planner at the DC Office of Planning (OP); and Colleen Hawkinson – Manager, Strategic Planning Branch at the District Department of Transportation (DDOT).

Based on each agency’s needs and priorities, OP and DDOT chose to focus the Workshop on advancing a Tactical Urbanism pilot project at the intersection of Florida Avenue NW, North Capitol Street, Q Street NE, and Lincoln Road NE. DDOT’s Mid-City East Livability Study outlined a proposal for long-term improvements at this intersection to improve safety and mobility for people walking, biking, and driving.

The goal of the October 26 Workshop was to design a pilot project at the target intersection that would:

  • Test recommendations from the Mid-City East Livability Study, creating progress towards long-term implementation;
  • Help attendees increase their level of comfort with techniques and materials for Tactical Urbanism projects; and
  • Increase collaboration across City departments, and between City and community stakeholders.

To kick off the Workshop, participants joined in a site visit to examine challenges and opportunities at the focus intersection. Following the site visit, workshop attendees reconvened in a meeting room and split into two teams to develop draft design proposals for pilot projects at the target intersection, working in groups comprised of both DDOT, OP, and Mayoral staff. Each team was provided with a packet of temporary materials which might be appropriate for the project, excerpted from the Tactical Urbanist’s Guide to Materials and Design.

In addition to sketching design ideas, teams were asked to map out a rough list of materials and costs, potential partners, and an implementation timeline. At the end of approximately 90 minutes of design activities, each team shared their final ideas and work plans with the larger group. Working from each group’s ideas, attendees solidified the vision for a pilot project that could be implemented in Spring 2017.


Street Plans Leads Workshop Series to Jump-Start Tactical Urbanism Projects in Six U.S. Cities

Street Plans Leads Workshop Series to Jump-Start Tactical Urbanism Projects in Six U.S. Cities


Date: June 13, 2016

Media Contact: Anthony Garcia | Principal, The Street Plans Collaborative

221 Aragon Avenue | Coral Gables, Florida | 305.978.6426 | tony@streetplans.org


Miami, FL – Pedestrian plazas. Parklets. Art Crosswalks. Pop-up Bike Lanes. Whether on the streets of your own community or elsewhere, you’ve likely seen it for yourself: cities and citizens around the world are using low-cost, short-term projects to advance long-term planning goals. Often referred to as “Tactical Urbanism,” this approach represents a growing urban design movement focused on leveraging small, scalable interventions to improve the livability of towns and cities.

With funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Street Plans Collaborative today announced the kick-off of a workshop series that will jump-start Tactical Urbanism projects in six cities across the U.S.

The six “beta cities” were chosen from a pool of 18 applicants interested in expanding local capacity for using Tactical Urbanism to advance street safety and placemaking projects such as pedestrian plazas, bike lanes, shared streets, and more. The six beta cities are: Akron, OH; Austin, TX; Fayetteville, AR; Long Beach, CA; Washington, D.C.; West Palm Beach, FL.

Leaders in each of the selected beta cities will work with Street Plans to design a workshop that shares the firm’s latest research regarding best practices around design and materials for Tactical Urbanism projects, and demonstrates application of the information through a hands-on project that transforms a local street or public space.

The workshop series represents the first practical application of Street Plans’ work on the Tactical Urbanist’s Guide to Materials and Design – a new print and digital resource that will provide high-quality design and materials guidance for Tactical Urbanism projects. The Guide and workshops will provide information about materials and design for both short-term demonstration projects (typically led by community groups and lasting 1-7 days) and pilot/interim-design projects (typically led by city governments and lasting one month to a year or more).

“Over the past seven years Street Plans has built a practice around implementing Tactical Urbanism projects around the globe,” said Principal Mike Lydon. “Our four open-source guides and recent book, along with many other resources, provide substantial case-study level information on the topic. But, we’ve heard time and again that what is needed now is more guidance about design and materials, for both city- and citizen-led projects.”

“The Tactical Urbanist’s Guide to Materials and Design will address this need by providing design and materials information for Tactical Urbanism projects of varying time scales and level of formality,” adds Principal Tony Garcia. “This new resource will help bridge the gap between city- and citizen-led projects, helping a host of stakeholders widen public engagement and accelerate project delivery and evaluation.”

“Cities can invite more of their citizens to help shape their communities.  The Tactical Urbanism Workshops and the Manual will open up new channels of civic engagement,” said Benjamin de la Peña, Knight Foundation director for community and national strategy.

For more information about the project, visit: www.tacticalurbanismguide.com


Mike Lydon Featured on Panel for GoBoston2030 Initiative

Mike Lydon joined four other speakers Monday night to discuss the future of transportation in Boston, specifically complete streets, equity, connectivity, and emerging technology. The event was one of multiple public events the City of Boston has held to collect public input, and encourage support for, its GoBoston2030 plan.

Learn more about GoBoston2030 here.