Vote for the Best Urban Street Redesign of 2018!

road design montage

streetsie_2018It’s time to recognize the cities pushing forward street design that makes cities healthier, cleaner and more beautiful. This is our biggest Streetie competition of the year: Best Urban Street Redesign of 2018.

We’ve selected five projects that are worthy of recognition, below. But it’s up to you to vote and decide which will be called the Best.

Read closely then vote below.

Manassas Street, Memphis

Memphis' Manassas Street was redesigned in Memphis with protected bike lanes and raised colorful crosswalks. Photo: Memphis Medical District Collaborative
Memphis’ Manassas Street was redesigned in Memphis with protected bike lanes and raised colorful crosswalks. Photo: Memphis Medical District Collaborative

In 2018, Memphis completed a beautiful road diet on Manassas Street, an important corridor for the city’s healthcare industry. The redesign reduced the number of regular travel lanes from five to three, and added parking protected bike lanes. The project also included pedestrian bump outs, colorful crosswalks and self-watering planters.

The project was a partnership between City Hall and the Memphis Medical District Collaborative, a community development organization in an area of the city that is anchored by a number of hospitals and medical institutions. Artists Cat Peña, Anthony Lee and Kaleob Elkins did the crosswalk designs.

Photo: Memphis Medical District Collaborative
Photo: Memphis Medical District Collaborative

Here’s a before photo:manassas before

Memphis has for years quietly been doing some pretty cool stuff with making its streets more pedestrian friendly and beautiful. So we’re excited to include them in this competition for this worthy project.

Veitch Street, Arlington County, Virginia

veitch street arlington
Veitch Street at Key Boulevard

This project was just one of a handful of new protected bike lanes the county added this year, also including Quincy Street and North Pershing Drive.

As you can see above, this design includes parking protected bike lanes. We like the way the county placed a Capital Bikeshare station in several of the parking spaces.

Here’s a before-and-after look:

Veitch and 18th Street North
Veitch and 18th Street North

This submission comes to us from the good folks at Arlington County DOT. The project was designed to increase bike connections between the Curtis Trail and a shopping corridor.

Skillman and 43rd avenues, Queens, N.Y.

Where else but New York (well, everywhere, now that you mention it) does it take months of controversy — and the defeat of a sitting congressman! — to get a simple pair of protected bike lanes? Fortunately for Queens cyclists, New York City Mayor de Blasio over-ruled the local community board (and that now-former congressman!) and defied the pro-parking crowed to build two great lanes on Skillman and 43rd avenues in Sunnyside. They’re wide and also provided essential traffic-calming and pedestrian safety improvements.

Photo: Clarence Eckerson, Jr.
Photo: Clarence Eckerson, Jr.

Most important, they closed a key gap in the Queens protected bike lane bike network, which the de Blasio administration has worked hard beef up since 2014. Up until this year, a huge hole remained between the western terminus of the Queens Boulevard bike lanes and Long Island City. Cyclists had determined that Skillman and 43rd avenue were the safest route to get there. After a cyclist was killed biking home from work at 43rd Avenue and 39th Street, it was clear something had to be done.

As of this year, you can now ride in protected bike lanes from Rego Park, into Manhattan and then out to Brooklyn with only a few blocks of gaps.

14th Avenue NW, Seattle

Photos: Dongho Chang
Photos: Dongho Chang

This photo shows the start of the new 14th Avenue Northwest in Seattle. During 2018, the city took two blocks of the street, removed parking and turned it into park space. Below is the result.

14th seattle 3

Here’s how Seattle’s Traffic Engineer, Dongho Chang, described it:

Two blocks of center blvd used for parking was rebuilt for people and community space while providing stormwater treatment. Community vision is to connected the High School on 65th Street to the street end waterfront park and the Burke-Gilman Trail.

Another view:

14th seattle 2

Here’s a before photo:
before 14th seattle

Quite an upgrade over parking. Seattle completed a number of impressive street redesign projects that could have been included in this competition, including a few curb-protected bike lanes. But we thought this was the most dramatic.

K/Water Street, Washington, D.C. 

Photo: Washington Area Bicyclists Association
Photo: Washington Area Bicyclists Association

Check out the newest bike route in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Katie Harris of the Washington Area Bicyclists Association tells us:

Before this year, the road was chaotic and dangerous. Georgetown BID and DDOT partnered on the redesign, which included a beautiful protected bike lane and improved crosswalks.
This connection now links the Capital Crescent Trail, one of the busiest rail-trail in the nation, with the street network in DC, and provides an improved connection to the Rock Creek Park Trail.
At one time this route was a freight rail right of way. It’s cool to see infrastructure evolving with the times.

Broad Street, Atlanta

Photo: Niki Zarrabi via Atlanta City Studio
Photo: Niki Zarrabi via Atlanta City Studio

This part of Broad Street in downtown Atlanta was previously closed to vehicle traffic but did allow parking. During a pilot beginning in 2018, Atlanta closed a short section of the street to vehicles altogether and turned it into a lively public plaza.

Here’s a before photo:

broad street before

 

 

What a difference it can make if a city is willing to part with five parking spaces. This submission comes to us from Atlanta City Studio.

Tell us which one you like the most.

Voting will close Jan. 2.

Happy New Year, everyone!

1 thought on Vote for the Best Urban Street Redesign of 2018!

  1. Coffin-corner parking-separated bike lanes on N Veitch St in Arlington VA is winning an online poll for “Best Urban Street Redesign of 2018”:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Vote for the Best Urban Street Transformation of 2015

|
It’s almost time to say goodbye to 2015, which means we’re about to hand out Streetsies to recognize achievements for walking, biking, and transit in American cities this year. Earlier this month we asked readers for nominations for the Best Urban Street Transformation of the year, and here are the standouts from your submissions. It’s a great batch and […]

Vote to Decide the Best Urban Street Transformation of 2014

|
If you’re searching for reasons to feel positive about the future, the street transformations pictured below are a good start. Earlier this month we asked readers to send in their nominations for the best American street redesigns of 2014. These five are the finalists selected by Streetsblog staff. They include new car-free zones, substantial sidewalk […]

Memphis Marching Forward on Safe Streets

|
Something important is happening in Memphis, Tennessee. Out on the streets, the city has made progress on its plan to add 55 miles of bike lanes in two years, including the installation of some protected bike lanes. In addition, the state of Tennessee has been overhauling its transportation policies in a shift away from road […]