Award Date

8-2014

Degree Type

Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Public Administration (MPA)

Department

Environmental and Public Affairs

First Committee Member

Jaewon Lim

Number of Pages

38

Abstract

A Complete Street is a corridor that is accessible by all users and modes of transportation; it promotes livability and economic vitality in the surrounding community, and is a new approach to improving transportation networks. Prior to the implementation of Complete Streets projects, cities conduct corridor ranking studies to determine potential project locations. The City of North Las Vegas Planning Department (CNLV) is currently working on a corridor ranking study in partnership with the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) and an external consulting group, Atkins International (Atkins). This is the first Complete Streets planning study for the City of North Las Vegas, and they are currently in need of an external evaluation of their approach. DiamoCorp is a consulting group in charge of evaluating the approach the City of North Las Vegas has taken to complete its Complete Streets Corridor Ranking Study. DiamoCorp aims to answer the following question: Was the City of North Las Vegas effective at executing their ranking study? To answer this question, DiamoCorp took a four--‐tiered approach. The four methods used to evaluate the effectiveness of the study were 1) an internal assessment, 2) benchmark comparisons, 3) workshop analyses, and 4) a stakeholder survey.

  1. Internal Assessment: DiamoCorp members met with key stakeholders (CNLV, RTC, Atkins) on a monthly basis in order to discuss the division of roles and responsibilities amongst stakeholders as well as current or potential setbacks.
  2. Benchmark Comparisons: Researching similar Complete Streets corridor--‐ranking studies around the United States allowed DiamoCorp to compare and contrast strengths and weaknesses from this study to others like it across the country.
  3. Workshop Analyses: Workshop activities and discussions formed the indicators and ranking criteria for the study; DiamoCorp attended and analyzed the workshops to determine if Atkins was meeting its objectives and progressing in accordance with the study’s timeline.
  4. Stakeholder Survey: Stakeholders were very involved in the first half of the study, and through a survey DiamoCorp aimed to find out what stakeholders were involved or missing as well as how to maximize the use of stakeholder expertise and time.

DiamoCorp used the information and data they collected to form recommendations for the current study as well as future Complete Streets Corridor Ranking Studies. Together, these recommendations create a toolbox. Recommendations for the study in progress include providing materials from Atkins to stakeholders prior to workshops, discussing workshop materials with CNLV and RTC prior to workshops, looking into best practices of similar ranking studies, and assessing what stakeholders group and data were missing during this study. Below are the recommendations for future studies.

City of North Las Vegas Complete Streets Corridor Ranking Study Toolbox

  • Lessons Learned about Planning Approach: In future studies the key players (CNLV and RTC) will remain the same. DiamoCorp recommends that CNLV hire an external consultant unless there is an increase in CNLV staff available to work on projects. The role of the consultant will not be the same in future studies; rather than conducting workshops during the first half of the project, the consultant will spend that time collecting, organizing, and preparing data that was previously missing or outdated from the first study. Successful Complete Streets studies in cities such as Henderson, Nevada; Oakland, California; and Chicago, Illinois have elements that CNLV can consider when conducting future studies. These elements include: 1) clearly defined leadership roles, 2) public engagement via online or in workshop form, 3) utilization of higher education institutions for research assistance, and 4) information sharing with local stakeholder groups.
  • Workshops & Stakeholder Engagement: For future studies, DiamoCorp recommends using the information collected from the pilot study’s workshop series to select and rank corridors without moving through the same workshop activities again. After selecting and ranking potential corridors, DiamoCorp recommends that 1) CNLV and the consultant share their findings with stakeholders and ask for feedback. Survey results showed that stakeholders would spend 2--‐3 hours per week reviewing materials for this study. Hosting one meeting for stakeholders, CNLV, RTC, and the consultant to discuss findings would be sufficient. After receiving stakeholder feedback, 2) the consultant can carry on with the study and compose their final recommendations for the city.

Keywords

Streets; Traffic engineering; Transportation; Transportation--Planning; Urban transportation

Disciplines

Infrastructure | Public Administration | Public Affairs | Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration | Transportation

Language

English


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