02OCT12 Thesis Proposal Updated

Share the Road

A Tool Kit for University Campus Complete Streets: The case of The University of Maryland

Mingyu Cui, 3rd-year Master of Landscape Architecture Candidate

Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture

The University of Maryland, College Park | Fall 2012 – Spring 2013

Working Title:

Share the Road – A Tool Kit for University Campus Complete Streets: The case of The University of Maryland

Committee Members:

Dr. Byoung-Suk Kweon, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture (Committee Chair)

(List in alphabetical order below)

Dr. David Myers, ASLA, Associate Professor, Dept. of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture

Dr. Powell Draper, Associate Professor, the School of Architecture, Planting & Preservation

Mr. Jack Leonard, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Dept. of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture, JGL Design Associates


1st Part: Literature

In 2011, the 112th Congress House passed the Safe and Complete Streets Act (HR. 1780), which defines a complete street as “a roadway that safely accommodates all travelers, particularly public transit users, bicyclists, pedestrians (including individuals of all ages and individuals with mobility, sensory, neurological, or hidden disabilities), motorists and freight vehicles, to enable all travelers to use the roadway safely and efficiently”. Different from the movement promoting cycle lanes in recent years, this bill is intended to ensure the rights and safety of all roadway user groups once it is passed the Senate (S. 1056). Based on these legal provisions, and as a response to the Complete Streets movement, this paper will review the literature on the legislation, safety, public demand, and sustainability aspects of the need for urban roadway systems to accommodate multimodal traffic, especially in university campuses.

Through the review of the literature related to this topic, the written part intends to document whether our current traffic laws and regulations cover the daily behavior of all user groups of our roadway systems or whether laws and regulations that ensure the order and safety on our streets are missing. The campus of University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP) serves as a case study. Using a survey of selected campus users, the paper documents their issues. The survey process and the analysis outcomes could provide a theoretical and statistical basis for the campus to become safer and multi-modal travel environment by the use of complete streets for its roadways. This part will explore the improvement of campus roadways to accommodate a variety of travel means currently used by the university community but not designed for, and discuss the benefits of implementing a complete streets policy for the campus roadway system based the analysis of the results of information from the survey. Furthermore, it provides several suggestions on sustainability aspects and addresses how our campus roadway system could provide its user groups with more sustainable travel choices. This part could also serve as investigation precedence for future discussion on roadway system improvements in university campuses that are considering the adoption of complete street facilities, policies, and principles.

2nd Part: Design

An investigation of the site, UMCP campus, will result in a master plan of campus current roadway facility situation. The follow-up desktop analysis will list out constrains and opportunities of the current roadway system, overlaid with the current transportation situation analysis in part 1, then divide the roadway into several different parts and categories according to the analysis results. The analysis will be focused on the transportation aspects.  The analysis will also serves as one of the references in the following toolkit design part. In other words, a set of toolkit will be developed, each one or subset will be correspondent to the current traffic situation and constrains of the roadway types in different categories. On the final stage, roadway facilities segments will be picked from the toolkit and put on the location corresponding to the current problems need to be solved, to form a draft master plan. The digital roadway model of this draft will be filled with virtual traffic and test in VISSIM (If the student trail is acquired before full board review, see schedule). The draft roadway improvement design will be revised based on the test results till it reaches the best performances. Then customized stormwater management facility designs will be applied to the master plan according to the topography of the site. The stormwater management designs will go through desktop checking calculations to meet the practical needs. The final result will be a master plan of integrated UMCP campus complete streets design, focused on both transportation and sustainability.


  1. Literature review

The literature review will focus on the reason why do we need complete streets in our community. The need of complete streets will be dissected from three aspects: multimodal transportation, physical well-being, and sustainability.

  1. Precedent review

The goal of precedent review is to find out what positive effects do complete streets bring to the community. The precedent review will look into several proposed/built complete streets design, and summarize the benefits brought by these designs by comparing with the current/former roadway facilities.

  1. Survey

The current roadways deficiency on site will be mainly derived through questionnaires distribute to the current UMCP students and employees (faculty and staff). Statistics from campus planning and transportation departments will also serve as references to the design part.

  1. Traffic stimulation (Optional, depend on whether if the trail is acquired from PTV)

Traffic stimulation will be used for validating design efficiency. VISSIM will generate virtual traffic (cars, pedestrians, public transportation and railway transportation) on design model, therefore expose the efficiency of the design.


Roadway system is an indispensable part of our communities. It provides physical connections among residents’ house, work places, schools and other community service facilities. The roadway system used to mainly serve travelling vehicles and took less care about other roadway user groups like pedestrians and public transportation users. The amazing efficiency and convenience brought by motor vehicles was overwhelming the environmental and physical impacts for the past decades. But recent years as the awakening of environment protection consciousness, and the development of a clearer definition of health, “a complete state of physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”, as defined by World Health Organization (WHO), has lead the public to a new understanding of travel means. Community planners and designers start to care more about the walkability and service targets of community roadway system. As addressed by National Complete Streets Coalition, a movement is growing to complete the streets in communities across the country. States, cities and towns are asking their road networks to be safer, more livable, and welcoming to everyone.

Proposed Organization of Documents

  1. Introduction and Background
  2. Literature Review
    1. History of Roadway Development: Evolution of Multimodal Transportation

i.      Roadway serving targets

ii.      Roadway facilities

  1. Transportation’s Impacts on Human Well-being

i.      The reports of the National Association of Local Boards of Health

ii.      Statistics and researches from other sources

  1. Environmental Impacts of the Roadway System

i.      The impacts on local habitats

ii.      Environmental physical impacts

iii.      Current solutions and on-going improvements

  1. Complete Streets Movement and Sustainable Urbanism

i.      What is a complete street?

  1. Safe and Complete Streets Act of 2011
  2. Related American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials’ (AASHTO) Guides
  3. National Complete Streets Coalition

ii.      How does complete streets movement meet the demand of sustainable urbanism?

  1. Case Study
    1. San Francisco, California
    2. Portland, Oregon
    3. Chicago, Illinois
    4. Summary: What elements are there in complete streets?
    5. Site Inventory: Campus of the University of Maryland, College Park
      1. Current Physical Situation

i.      Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Inventory

ii.      Purple Line proposal

  1. Survey

i.      Questionnaire

ii.      Analysis of questionnaire results

  1. Opportunities and Constrains
  2. Roadway Categories

i.      Driveways

  1. Class I
  2. Class II
  3. Class III

ii.      Avenues

  1. Class I
  2. Class II
  3. Class III

iii.      Bike Paths

  1. Class I
  2. Class II
  3. Class III

iv.      Pedestrian Paths

  1. Class I
  2. Class II
  3. Campus Complete Streets Toolkit
    1. Sustainable Roadway Facilities
    2. Campus Complete Streets Master Plan
    3. Conclusion
    4. Appendix
    5. Bibliography


(See 04SEPT12 Schedule v1.1)


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