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In addition to the 7D’s of Place-Making that Reduce VMT, there are another 7D’s for  dealing with traffic congestion.  Society defaults too easily to the “Direct” approach, which is to “Build your way out” directly on the facility in question.   


At Urban Innovators, we recommend investigating the other “D-strategies” before conceding a need to directly increase capacity on any given arterial. When new capacity is a good idea, we have unique place-making methods for increasing vehicle capacity in ways that also improve walkability and economic vitality.

7Ds  of Managing Traffic Mobility, Congestion Management, 7-D.jpg

Here are the 7-D strategies for managing traffic congestion:

  1. Design – “Begin with the End in Mind,” then phase design elements.

  2. Divert – Connectivity helps people avoid problem areas.

  3. Deduct – Alternative modes help drivers deduct themselves from traffic

  4. Delete – 7D Land-uses shorten trips, deleting VMT

  5. Dynamic – Tech advances enhance efficiency

  6. Direct – New capacity directly on struggling facilities (hint: use Place-Making Alternative Intersections!)

  7. Deal! – It’s a big deal to be careful and patient with stakeholders, or you’ll have “No Deal.” 

These 7Ds are key to transportation system right-sizing

Einstein said, “Today’s problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.” 

At Urban Innovators, we are solving the unsolvable.

More Detailed Version

  1. Design – If you’re lucky enough to plan Greenfields, design a tighter grid! Collectors and arterials every .3-.5 miles, along with a finer grid of locals, can ensure few streets will ever get seriously congested.

  2. Divert – If one corridor is overwhelmed, look for opportunities to improve competing paths.

  3. Deduct – People drive if alternatives are impractical or unattractive. Help people “Deduct” themselves from traffic by improving alternative modes.

  4. Delete – You can “Delete” vehicle miles traveled (VMT) by optimizing land uses. How far do people have to go “to get a gallon of milk?” Are future schools and parks arranged to encourage walking? Review the 7D’s of Land-Use that reduce VMT.

  5. Dynamic – Technology is enhancing alternative modes and making it easier to “Dynamically” guide people to under-utilized streets. Technology is helping us accomplish more activities in shorter distances – often without even traveling at all (think Zoom). Consider emerging technologies in your future plans.

  6. Direct – After pursuing previous strategies, increase capacity “Directly” on the corridor. Try using place-making intersection designs, such as Quadrants, Bowties, Town Center Intersections, and Roundabouts.

  7. Deal!– It’s a big deal to be careful and patient with stakeholders, or you’ll have “No Deal.”  But even then, “No Deal” may be the right deal. Cities are dynamic, and you don’t have to solve every problem.  “Deal with it” by accepting the things you cannot change.

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