15-Minute City: A concept popularized by the 15-Minute City Project and based on the notion that “…everyone living in a city should have access to essential urban services within a 15-minute walk or bike.”
Active Transportation: Ways of getting around, primarily walking and bicycling, that are powered by human energy. Note, though, that bikes, scooters, and other devices powered in whole or in part by electric motors are sometimes included within the definition of "active transportation."
Bicycle Urbanism: a school of thought that places active transportation, rather than cars, at the center of urban planning and design.
Complete Streets refers to a well-established practice, adopted by over 1500 American cities and towns. The Bay Area Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) provides significant federal funding and prioritizes projects that take a Complete Streets approach. By MTC’s definition, Complete Streets are “...safe and comfortable for everyone, regardless of age, ability, ethnicity, race, sex, income, disability or chosen transportation mode.” Equally important, they maximize “...the use of the existing public right-of-way by prioritizing space-efficient forms of mobility (walking, cycling, shared mobility and public transit) over space intensive modes (single occupancy auto travel).”
Micromobility: Non-automotive ways of getting around that are fully or partially human-powered. The range of such devices is large -- and steadily increasing! -- and includes: bicycles, recumbent bikes, cargo bikes, unicycles, scooters, skateboards, hoverboards, Segways, wheelchairs and more. Micromobility devices most commonly do not exceed speeds of ~15 mph.
Queuing: The instinctive process of drivers yielding to oncoming drivers, as is required on Yield Streets (see below)
Quick Build: A temporary, low-cost test installation of street safety modifications that allows real-world evaluation by people who use the street. If it passes the test, it is easily upgraded using more durable materials. If it fails, it is easily removed.
Road Diet: Most commonly used to refer to a road re-design that results in a reduction in the number of travel lanes. A typical road diet is a conversion from two lanes in each direction to one lane in each direction with a middle turning lane. Road diets typically include the addition of Class II (striped) bike lanes. Road diets are known to result in safer roadways with no reduction in travel times.
Shared Street: a “pedestrian-priority” street designed for slow travel speeds where pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists all share the right of way.
Sharrow ("SHARE-oh"): Shared lane markings that alert motorists to be aware of bicyclists traveling on the street (see image). Sharrows are probably the most-(ab)used least understood street marking. Motorists should always be aware of bicyclists and other no-car travelers. Sharrows don't provide any protection, and as often as not don't indicate where in the travel lane the bicyclists should ride.
Slow Streets: The term “Slow Streets” gained currency in response to the Covid pandemic in 2020 when traffic volume and traffic speed were intentionally reduced in order to encourage bike and pedestrian activity on urban streets. Slow Streets were often created quickly and inexpensively through the use of signage and temporary barriers.
Tactical Urbanism: “A city- and/or citizen-led approach to neighborhood building using short-term, low-cost, and scalable interventions to catalyze long-term change.” [Source: City of Burlington, VT: Community-Led Demonstration Project Policy + Guide]. Tactical Urbanism projects are Quick Build projects on a small scale.
Transit-Oriented Development (TOD): The creation of higher-density, mixed-use communities near transit stops where people enjoy easy access to jobs and services.
Vision Zero: A strategy to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all. First implemented in Sweden in the 1990s, Vision Zero has proved successful across Europe — and now it’s gaining momentum in major American cities. In 2022, the Petaluma City Council passed a Vision Zero Resolution that sets a goal of zero traffic-related fatalities and serious collisions by 2030. "Unsafe speeds" are identified the single leading cause of all collisions.
Woonerf: A shared-use space designed equally for pedestrians, bicycles, and recreational uses that may allow slow moving automobiles and other vehicles (motorists are considered guests within the woonerf).