I've been designing public transportation infrastructure for over 10 years and have seen a wide variety of approaches to design and construction in the public ROW. From multi-lane thoroughfares to multiuse trails, there are only so many things that public agencies can squeeze into the allotted space and only so much funding to do it. As always, how this space is used and how projects are built impacts everyone and everything in and around our communities. It is imperative that public agencies and their consultants and contractors consider all the impacts of public transportation projects throughout design and delivery.
I took the STP exam because I wanted to see how Greenroads would assess a professional’s understanding of sustainability. I think it’s a big step in an important direction for the industry and they are very much on the leading edge with this test. After taking it, I still think it has some fine-tuning but they are getting their arms around the full spectrum of topics needed by transportation professionals, regardless of if they are consultants, agencies, or contractors. I could call the test components ‘progressive’ but it’s time to move past the idea that these concepts are in some sort of testing phase and realize that they are all highly relevant to solving transportation system challenges across the board. It has a blend of technical and policy related material and this may be fleshed out over time while some may never be agreed upon by everyone at all.
Greenroads is a straightforward roadmap to more sustainable transportation projects and is being currently used all over the US and internationally. It is practical for the public works professional as it avoids getting mired in state and regional planning considerations by not revisiting the hard work already completed by these agencies. Rather it provides guidance to engineer and designers on how to get sustainable design incorporated at the ground level with projects in hand. It can be scaled as needed and backs-up it’s standards with dependable science and relevant research. When it's time to engage with your public and elected officials, the tool allows for engagement on a multitude of design issues and notes where projects have gone above and beyond.
I've appreciated using Greenroads on two projects here in Bellingham and will continue to advocate for the use of the tool where we can apply it. We've got more projects on the horizon that would certainly benefit from having a comprehensive review to make sure we've got the best project we can have. I'll add the STP to my signature line so folks will have to ask me what's it's all about.
Freeman Anthony P.E. STP
City of Bellingham Public Works
Washington State, USA