ITE Committee Report Summary. Context Sensitive Solutions in Designing Major Urban Thoroughfares for Walkable Communities: An ITE Proposed Recommended Practice


James M. Daisa

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

operations - traffic, land use - planning, land use - smart growth, land use - urban design, ridership - growth, policy - fares, place - urban, mode - pedestrian, mode - pedestrian


Walkability, Urban highways, Urban design, Urban areas, Traffic free zones, Through highways, Thoroughfares, Thorofares, Smart growth, Road design, Recommendations, Planning and design, Pedestrian trafficways, Pedestrian precinct, Pedestrian facilities, Pedestrian areas, New urbanism, Mobility, Main roads, Land use, Institute of Transportation Engineers, Highway design, Design practices, Context sensitive design, Boulevards, Auto free zones, Arterial streets, Arterial highways


The Institute of Transportation Engineers has released a proposed recommendation practice (PRP) to provide guidance for the context-sensitive design of major urban thoroughfares. This article summarizes this report. The guidance in the PRP draws upon the philosophies and practices of smart growth and new urbanism. The focus is on major thoroughfares in urban environments where development intensity, mix of land uses and design features combine to create the opportunity for walking, transit and biking to be feasible transportation choices. The PRP presents a framework to assist the practitioner in both identifying context and developing context-sensitive thoroughfare designs. The PRP addresses: (1) the relationships and tradeoffs involved in balancing mobility needs, adjoining land uses, and environment and community interests; (2) approaches to resolving the challenges encountered on a individual thoroughfare by addressing the larger scale of the network or corridor; (3) guidance to identify and select thoroughfare types and design parameters to best meet the needs of a particular context; and (4) design criteria for roadway elements.