How Can Cities and Counties Plan for Street Network Connectivity?
A well-connected network has many short links, numerous intersections, and minimal dead-ends. Where a road connection may not make sense, a pedestrian or bicycle connection may still be considered. As connectivity increases, travel distances decrease and route options increase. The result is more direct travel between destinations and a more accessible system. Read the brief.
Best Practice Actions
- Plan for attractive and walkable activity centers in your community.
- Plan for density and intensity around transit routes and increase alternative transportation mode opportunities that reduce the need to drive.
- Plan for housing that is affordable to all segments of the population and near job centers.
- Address urban design and provide amenities that make urban areas places where people want to live, work, and socialize.
- Use incentives to encourage higher density development and efficient infrastructure service (consider level of service standards, impact fees and regional stormwater facilities).
- Consider all opportunities for additional infill before considering expansion of Urban Growth Areas (UGAs) to accommodate new growth.
- Delay UGAs expansions until a city or jurisdiction is able to provide the additional area(s) with a full range of urban governmental services.
Benefits of Compact Growth
- Reduces the costs of public services such as water, sewer, road infrastructure, police, fire, and emergency services.
- Supports mass transit and a wider array of non-motorized transportation options.
- Improves ambient air quality because vehicle-miles travelled generally decrease.
- Helps decrease fossil fuel consumption.
- Increases economic productivity by creating an employment density that attracts additional investment.
- Improves productivity by providing businesses with easier access to labor, suppliers, and supporting businesses.
- Helps businesses compete for labor because many professionals and recent college graduates prefer to live near their work and walk to shops, restaurants, and entertainment.
- Provides low-wage workers better access to affordable housing near jobs and transportation options.
- Helps businesses attract customers because people can reach their location in multiple ways.
Tools & Resources
Connection to State Policy
- Comprehensive Plans—Urban Growth Areas—RCW 36.70A.110.
- Growth Management Act—Procedural Criteria for Adopting Comprehensive Plans and Development Regulation—WAC 365-196.
- Results Washington
- WSDOT Strategic Plan
- Results Commerce
- Results Ecology
- Strategic Plan for 2014-2016 for Health
- Executive Order 14-04, Washington Carbon Pollution Reduction and Clean Energy Action
Bellingham North State Street Design Concept
A good example of place making and walkability planning along a commercial corridor.
Kenmore Town Center
2016 Governors Smart Community Award Winner.