Right-of-Way: Not Just for Streets

2023 TX ASLA Conference Presentation

With the introduction of complete streets into the built environment, corridors no longer have a vehicular focus but are a lifeline for developing communities. Thoroughfare development has increased the need for design input from multiple disciplines to create environments focused on mobility, accessibility, and beautification. Traffic engineers have become increasingly important to integrate the modes of traffic together in a shareable and functional manner.

TEI, a Houston engineering firm, prioritizes the implementation of bike lanes and trail connections to promote pedestrian-friendly environments. As landscape architects, Clark Condon contributes to the enhancement of transportation corridors; an important part of the public realm that defines a community’s aesthetic quality, identity, economy, health, social cohesion, and opportunity.  Communities are creating Economic Development Corporations to spur economic growth and sustainability. Pearland Economic Development Corporation oversees one of Houston’s rapidly growing suburbs.

Emerging from Pearland’s 20-year vision, a new holistic strategic plan looks to increase economic diversification through investment in key transportation corridors to ensure they are efficient, aesthetically pleasing, and well maintained for the city to remain a destination for employment and development. The reinvestment in streetscapes promotes revitalization, beautification, and unique branding. Communities utilize a variety of funding sources to support these efforts including fundraising, Capital Improvement Programs, Tax Increment Reinvestment Zones, Public-Private Partnerships, bonds, non-profit entities, county dollars, adjacent property owners, and institutions.

This panel features a landscape architect, a traffic engineer, and an economic development president to discuss how they each play a role in the utilization of right-of-way for community corridor enhancement and the creation of safer, shareable thoroughfares.

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