Dr. Sweta Byahut's Sustainable Transportation Planning class in Spring 2017 collaborated with the City of Prattville, AL to prepare a Parking and Pedestrian Management Plan. The plan focused on improving the city’s pedestrian safety and parking utilization as it has been experiencing rapid growth in its urban core. The class primarily engaged the downtown and historic districts, connecting with the city’s local and regional assets. The project was conceived in collaboration with Mr. Joel Duke (Director, Planning and Development) who hosted a kick-off meeting for students in the City Hall and introduced them to their specific needs and issues, related to parking management and pedestrian safety, and also led a walking tour of the downtown and historic districts. Mr. Duke also visited the classroom mid-semester to brainstorm with students and provide feedback.

The plan considered the existing situation and level of service of existing facilities, needs of major user groups and stakeholders such as businesses, schools, recreational trail users, detailed design for key corridors and intersections, and examples of innovative solutions illustrating how various projects can be implemented within the existing context. Students integrated sophisticated analysis and creative solutions in network planning, detailed design and engineering, sustainable practice, and policy recommendations; including concepts of transportation planning and sustainable practices, parking policy, land use-transportation-environment interaction, as well as issues that determine mobility / accessibility such as congestion, alternative modes, pedestrian safety, street and intersection design, traffic calming treatments, and travel demand management.

Students prepared an insightful and comprehensive report with detailed analysis, and presented creative and viable options for Prattville downtown as it looks to improve its pedestrian safety and parking facilities. The report is of professional quality containing analytical charts, maps, and quality illustrations, and synthesizes their analysis, findings, proposals, design and policy recommendation. Students also made a presentation to planning faculty and submitted their report to the city officials.

This class received the 2017 Distinguished Leadership Award for Student Planning Student/Team from the American Planning Association - Alabama Chapter.

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