You may be familiar with the idea of land planning for individual construction sites. The same sort of steps must be taken for more large-scale construction projects overseen by cities and townships across America.
In many cases, these municipalities will develop a strategic plan for a particular area of town, or a construction master plan that they will execute for new public spaces. Land surveyors and civil engineers are crucial as part of this process. The larger the project gets, the more likely it is there will be some mistakes that must be corrected.
What exactly are some of the common mistakes a city is likely to make when performing this sort of large-scale land planning in Idaho? Here are just a few examples.
- Poor pedestrian and bicycle planning: There are too many towns that don’t give enough consideration to the needs of pedestrians and bicyclists. They seem to think all they need to do is give pedestrians a sidewalk and maybe a little bit of greenery. However, smarter development of these areas can be very helpful. Why not give pedestrians some sensible shortcuts to certain areas so they don’t have to follow the exact same routes as vehicles? What about including bike lanes for cyclist safety? And then, of course, adding marked crosswalks and controlled intersections can be crucial for pedestrian safety. There is so much that can be done to enhance the experience for pedestrians and bicyclists, both in terms of enjoyability and safety, that municipalities often fail to consider entirely.
- Over emphasis on parking in dense urban areas: There is a tendency in America for major urban centers to get hung up on parking. Really, they should be focused more on convenience for public transit and pedestrians. Urban shopping corridors are not competing with big suburban shopping centers, thus there does not need to be a focus on avoiding net parking loss in these types of major downtown projects. Parking in major urban centers, especially in areas undergoing significant urban revitalization, does not need to be a main priority.
- Making streets too wide: This is another big area in heavily populated urban areas. Wide streets are more dangerous for pedestrians. But the fact is, with people starting to migrate back to urban centers from the suburbs, people simply aren’t relying on cars as much as they might have used to. Wide streets are more expensive to maintain, increase rain runoff, add to urban heat islands and generally make life more difficult for pedestrians.
- Failure to protect existing structures: While revitalization and redevelopment are a constant focus of major urban centers, it’s important to also protect existing building stock and property uses, especially when buildings have historic elements to them. Redevelopment for its own sake should not be an end goal.
For more information about some of the biggest land planning mistakes made by cities in urban development, contact our experienced team of land planners in Idaho today.