October 18, 2013

The Why, How and What of Livable Streets from Policy to Implementation

Time

Friday, 1:40 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Location

1605 Tilia, Room 1103, West Village

Speaker(s)

Bryan D. Jones, Deputy Director, Transportation Department, City of Carlsbad

Abstract

It is important to truly understand the why, how and what you are doing in order to transform a transportation culture from policy to implementation or maybe that process should be from a strategic focus area to test pilot projects to policy to implementation for true success and buy-in to occur. And we have done just that in Carlsbad, CA, a community of 107,000 people in northern San Diego County; home of LEGOLAND, seven miles of pristine coastline, three lagoons, two coaster train stations, one outlet mall, a downtown village, and the original Automall. In 2012, our Carlsbad City Council asked staff what trends were occurring in our professions for which the transportation team identified Complete and Livable Streets. As a result, the City Council identified Complete and Livable Streets as a Strategic Focus Area and this presentation will highlight the transformation that occurred within our culture, many of the great “pilot” test projects, and the new Mobility Element as part of the General Plan update. We are aligning our transportation goals, policies, programs, and projects with the nine community values identified through the Envision Carlsbad process. We are definitely broadening the role that local governments, communities, transportation engineers and planners can play in creating sustainable, thriving, and vibrant communities for today and tomorrow. And that is what is truly exciting.

Demographic shifts continue to occur both in Carlsbad and throughout the United States.  More people are living and moving into cities than ever before. More people want to be connected and interact with other people. There is a paradigm shift where some people are starting to question the purpose, need, and cost of vehicle ownership as can be seen by young people delaying car ownership, bikesharing and carsharing are occurring in many communities, residents of all ages are choosing more active healthy lifestyles, and our aging population must change their approach to transportation to better match their physical abilities. Many people will face the challenges of “aging in place” if new mobility options are not introduced to enhance their movement and connectedness.  The Carlsbad transportation team is striving to make Carlsbad streets more livable, walkable, bike friendly and to generally provide more efficient and diverse transportation options to enhance mobility choices, connectedness, economic development/vibrancy, and quality of life.

Carlsbad has embarked on an ambitious effort to improve and enhance the quality of life by redesigning our streets to better serve our entire community. Our transportation system is no longer just about moving cars but rather moving and connecting people. And to move and connect people we need to enhance the public right-of-way in a manner that is attractive, inviting, welcoming and safer for people. Some streets will still be auto-oriented and designed to serve high vehicle traffic volumes and speeds, while other facilities will focus more on pedestrians, bicyclists and transit users. As the focus shifts from solely getting motorists from point “A” to point “B”, to incorporating a more holistic approach to community mobility that offers choices; transportation engineers and planners must look at projects from a multitude of viewpoints. The goal is to eliminate the “one-size fits all” approach.

The transportation team is continually evolving and innovating to find ways to promote these core community values and address the mobility needs of the community.  This approach and the community visioning process have led to several innovative “pilot” projects that successfully implement livable streets solutions. This approach did not happen overnight or by chance. A new culture was created by changing the language and conversations to create a safe environment where engineers and planners could once again “redefine” the problem, basic assumptions, and measure success according to the complete streets principals rather than just vehicle level of service. Each street and project has its own unique challenges and valuable lessons have been learned in the process. However the team could not have learned them without trying and making midcourse changes to improve and enhance the concepts. Where challenges exist, so do opportunities to better design our public space for people.

Biographical Sketch

Bryan Jones, TE, PTP, AICP. Bryan is the Deputy Transportation Director for the City of Carlsbad, where he is leading a cultural transformation to align transportation decisions, projects, and programs with community values. Mobility is more about connecting people rather than just collecting cars. The Transportation Department team is focusing on implementing complete and livable streets and making ordinary projects “extraordinary” by challenging the status quo. They are doing this by focusing on the “why” and changing the language, conversations, and as a result the culture. Many projects require inter-department collaboration and working with the private sector to build relationships that produce results. In the past couple years, Carlsbad has quickly become a leader in the implementation of livable streets with nearly two dozen projects implemented. The team has also implemented a state-of-the-art wireless traffic signal management system connecting nearly 150 traffic signal to a central command center. Bryan focuses on connecting and moving people on many different levels from transportation to planning to leadership.

The Transportation Department was recognized as Agency of the Year by the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) and their plans and projects have won multiple awards from professional organizations. In 2012, Bryan was appointed by Caltrans as one of first two voting members to serve on the California Traffic Control Devices Committee to represent bicyclists, pedestrians and transit user issues. Bryan is a registered Traffic Engineer in California and is also a Professional Transportation Planner (PTP) and a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP). Bryan received his undergraduate from UC Davis in Civil Engineering and his master’s in public administration from Norwich University. While at UCDavis he was an intern working with Dr. Susan Shaheen on her carsharing research pilot program “CarLink”.

Bryan was formerly the Transportation & Engineering Services Manager for the City of Fresno where he facilitated the Intelligent Transportation Program, processed hundreds of economic and redevelopment projects, developed specific and general plans, adopted a progressive, award winning bicycle master plan, and developed the multiple award winning I BIKE FRESNO campaign that facilitated the first Bicycle Friendly Community award designation in the San Joaquin Valley. In 2010 his team implement the 2nd most new bike lanes in any city in the United States besides NYC and in 2011 he also facilitated shutting down 10-miles of a state freeway for a major bicycle event that is now held yearly in Fresno.

Bryan Jones fosters a professional environment where innovation and leadership can thrive in a team environment. His leadership approach strives to influences the culture in an authentic way that adds value so that others can rise to their highest potential. He inspires a big picture vision and aligns it with a results oriented, strategic implementation plan. Through his background in planning and engineering, Bryan has led, developed, and mentored countless teams. He believes leadership can and should be developed at all levels.

His passion for public service and leadership are coupled with a commitment to building quality and sustainable organizations aligned with community goals and values. Bryan believes in giving your best, collaboration, strong communication, mid-course corrections when necessary, self-reflection and learning from experience. He creates environments where the focus on results is not outweighed by process.

Here is a recent audio video http://cdmcyclist.com/2013/carlsbads-pilot-projects-bryan-jones/#!