Over the past 75 years, the transportation industry has developed a toolkit of operational techniques to make roadway networks function for large numbers of vehicles, to the detriment of other users and cities themselves. As motor vehicle use has increased, so have traffic fatalities, congestion, and local air pollution. These impacts have made walking, cycling, and on-street transit use increasingly difficult and uncomfortable, resulting in demand for vehicle trips even for short distances that could easily be covered on foot. Thus, the prioritization of motor vehicles has increased congestion to the point where the time advantages of vehicles are negligible, even as the cycle of congestion and roadway expansion continues to push transit, walking, and cycling to the margins in many cities.
Cities that seek to reverse the growth of traffic demand need to create effective and comfortable operating conditions for transit, cycling, and walking, insulated from motor vehicle congestion. The engineering tools of traffic operations, historically used to increase vehicle capacity, can also be used to reverse this trend. This chapter covers strategies to actively manage volume, demand, and speed within urban networks, to create safe spaces for more spatially efficient modes.