What is Multimodal Transportation?
In simple terms, multimodal transportation is the interconnection or overlapping of multiple transportation modes. For example, a train station designed to allow for the transfer to streetcar or bus is considered a multimodal transit station. A more common example is the accommodation of different users of a roadway. A multimodal road for drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists would have identifiable infrastructure such as sidewalks and bike lanes to complement the vehicular travel lane.
Connected multimodal infrastructure creates networks and provides access to jobs, education, health care, and other essential services in urban, suburban, and rural areas throughout the United States. When interconnected, pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure make walking and bicycling a viable transportation choice for more people. Well-connected intermodal infrastructure contributes to the health, equity, and quality of life for local communities.
In many communities, development of multimodal infrastructure for walking and bicycling requires retrofitting the existing transportation system, often in constrained rights-of-way. To enhance existing infrastructure for multimodal function, Federal Highway Administration has published national guidance via “Achieving Multimodal Networks: Applying Design Flexibility and Reducing Conflicts” to help state, regional, and local designers overcome the challenges of retrofitting the transportation network. Because designers must manage conflicts between modes, they need practical information based on real-world scenarios to address potential conflicts between different modes.
SNHPC Multimodal Assistance
SNHPC provides multimodal planning assistance to its member communities. Currently SNHPC is administering a Transit-Oriented Development Plan for the City of Manchester which builds upon the achievements of a multimodal special project known as Manchester Connects. SNHPC is offering multimodal concept testing to member municipalities via their Complete Streets demonstration assistance. SNHPC is also providing transportation demand management services via the third phase of the Community Technical Assistance Program. If your community has an interest in exploring a multimodal project, please reach out to SNHPC Project Manager James Vayo at jvayo@SNHPC.org.