August 2019 – Autonomous (self-driving) vehicles may change the way we travel and the urban form of our cities in the coming decades. The August Planning Commission Meeting saw the Florida State University (FSU), Department of Urban and Regional Planning (DURP), present a Shared Mobility Project funded in part by The Planning Commission and the Florida Department of Transportation. The project developed a series of urban design templates and accompanying policy and planning guidance to facilitate and incentivize urban, suburban and rural adaptation for shared mobility solutions and autonomous transit services. This graduate capstone studio project conducted by second year planning students, with a post-project report by FSU staff.
Key principles of design to facilitate shared mobility were found to include:
- Shared Mobility for All: Each context is designed to accommodate the needs of all users.
- Aesthetics: Design should promote an environment that is both aesthetically pleasing as well as economically viable.
- Access: Mobility is less about the means of transportation and more about the proximity and convenience of accessing destinations.
- Adaptability: To accommodate user demands for flexible, on-demand transportation, the built environment must accommodate flexible on-demand design.
- Technological Accommodation: Adapting dedicated curbside public transit space with technological and built environmental changes supportive of shared mobility and autonomous vehicle alternatives is integral to maintaining, augmenting, and facilitating ridership.
Key policy recommendations to facilitate shared mobility were found to include:
- A Complete Streets policy guideline is necessary to implement equitable and accessible shared mobility transportation options that are safe for all ages.
- Ensure future land uses can promote residential and employment density to warrant shorter distance transportation trips that shared mobility options can easily accommodate.
- Reducing or eliminating parking requirements can provide incentives for developers to build less costly shared mobility amenities, such as designated ride-hail pick-up/drop-off areas and bike/scooter/car shared parking solutions.
- Population growth and an increase in age cohort is expected in Florida. Thinking about how shared mobility can accommodate 8 and 80-year-old’s is essential.
- Flexibility and adaptability in design and policy is one of the easiest and most effective ways of allowing cities and regions to quickly make changes that reflect unexpected or sudden technological, environmental, and socioeconomic shifts.
The study is helpful in continuing the conversation of how new technology will impact mobility, land use and design as autonomous and shared technology grows in both popularity and market share.
View the report and PowerPoint presentation given to the Planning Commission on August 12, 2019.