Introducing Shared Streets in U.S. Cities

Monday, May 8, 2017 | 2:45 p.m. - 4 p.m.
CM | 1.25
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You'll learn about:

  • Why the shared street, more commonly seen in northern Europe, has recently become a street management, placemaking, and economic development tool that American cities are considering 

  • How different cities have approached educating stakeholders and gaining public acceptance for the concept of shared streets as well as specific projects 

  • What cities have learned from their experience with temporary and permanent shared street projects and what this may indicate about the future of shared streets in America

A shared street approach creates an environment where all users interact safely within the same space, deconstructing the prototypical street section (e.g., travel lane/bike lane/sidewalk). This differs from the increasingly accepted complete streets approach, which aims to allocate adequate and equitable space for motorists, bicycles, pedestrians, and others, but typically achieves safety and comfort by creating separation between modes.

Seattle, Chicago, and San Francisco are all experimenting with shared streets, and are at different stages of implementation. Hear how and why each city decided to try this new concept, such as the desire to respond to site-specific transportation issues or to promote goals like economic development and public space improvement. Representatives of each will also discuss the public and political context for each project, with an emphasis on the challenge of overcoming stakeholder concerns about this non-traditional approach.


Hannah Higgins , Chicago , IL (see bio)
Robin Abad Ocubillo , City and County San Francisco , San Francisco , CA (see bio)
Christopher Hrones , AICP , Arup , San Francisco , CA (see bio)
David Breen , New York , NY (see bio)