by Mia Birk, President, Alta Planning + Design
Happy Engineering Month!
For close to 20 years, Alta Planning + Design has been planning and design healthy, active communities in hundreds of communities and with thousands of miles of walkways, bikeways, and trails. This month we celebrate our expanding engineering group and their exciting activities.
We often say that engineers are crucial community problem solvers. Present them with a problem, they look at it with a critical eye to standards and guidelines, efficiency, functionality, safety and maintenance. When designing active communities, it is critical that the community’s engineers are properly trained, given the right problems to solve and confident in the latest techniques, guidelines, and standards, not just that they’ve seen them or read them, but used them time and again in real-life.
That’s where Alta’s engineers come in. Perhaps your community’s engineers come from a historically auto-oriented training and focus. Perhaps they have not yet designed or operated a Complete Street with a one-way or two-way cycle track, enhanced pedestrian crossings, bike signals, transit priority, or rail tracks. Perhaps your trail corridor has on-street sections through a tricky, tight business district. Perhaps they’ve heard about the NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide or NACTO Urban Street Design Guide, but have not yet had the opportunity to put these guidelines into action.
Alta’s engineering team is led by Vice President Joe Gilpin, one of our superstar “Plangineers,” cross trained in both planning and engineering, with an eye for excellent design. Our professional engineers can help you with:
Many types of on-street bikeways are primarily or completely composed of striping and signage. Alta has prepared a variety of striping and signing plans for jurisdictions across the country. We specialize in applying careful consideration to every detail during design to provide our clients with affordable and thoughtful solutions to both common, and unique problems.
Alta helps communities plan and implement bicycle boulevard corridors and neighborhood greenways on lower-volume residential and collector streets.
With the release of the NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide in 2011, Alta has literally been involved in ‘writing the book on US cycle track design.’ We have built our implementation team specifically around the purpose of providing award winning cycle track facilities of any complexity. Alta staff have designed over 60 miles of cycle tracks with 20 miles going through full construction documentation.
Good intersection design has progressed rapidly in recent years with features that make them safer and more comfortable for bicyclists and pedestrians. Alta’s engineers focus on traffic analysis, intersection design, protected intersections, and beacons and crossing enhancements.
In the weeks ahead, we will be posting on various innovations in active transportation that we are using in our projects and seeing in the field. In the meantime, check out the various professional trainings that we offer, including NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide and Urban Street Design Guide training.