FAIRFAX, VA. — The Mid- Atlantic Section of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (MASITE) recently announced its 2011 MASITE Project of the Year for Small to Medium Scale Projects (under $5 million) at the organization’s annual meeting in Cape May, N.J. Dewberry’s Carlisle Road Diet in Carlisle, Pa., received the top honor. This project was designed by Dewberry’s local office in Carlisle.
Until recently, Carlisle’s downtown was troubled by excessive vehicle speeds and long crosswalks. The two four-lane highways that intersected at the “Square” created an auto-dominance that made it challenging for bicyclists and pedestrians to navigate through town. The Road Diet project presented an excellent opportunity for Carlisle to recreate the thriving, walkable downtown that it once had, with enhanced safety and better access to businesses and parking.
Major project objectives included calming traffic and enhancing Carlisle’s small town feeling; reducing accidents; promoting walking and bicycling; maximizing downtown business success; improving parking access; and reducing truck traffic in the downtown area. This was accomplished through lane reductions, major traffic signal upgrades including the first full implementation of the InSync adaptive signal system in Pennsylvania, dedicated street space for bikes, curb extensions, ADA curb ramps, and pedestrian signals enhancements.
Today, transportation engineers are planning and designing sustainable roadways that meet the needs of all users and modes of transportation including pedestrians, bicyclists, and motor vehicles. The Carlisle Road Diet is an excellent example of sustainability, Smart Transportation, and the Complete Streets concept.