Street Design Expert & Portsmouth Resident Rick Chellman to Speak Tuesday, April 28 at 7 PM on “Rethinking Portsmouth’s Streets” at Portsmouth Public Library, Levenson Room
Few people know Portsmouth’s streets in the way Rick Chellman does. When he’s at home in Portsmouth, he may walk five miles daily around the downtown area. That’s not a surprising habit for someone who is a national and international consultant on street design and New Urbanism.
On Tuesday, April 28th at 7 PM, Chellman will discuss converting downtown streets from one to two-way, finding more on-street parking and the pedestrian experience in Portsmouth, at the Levenson Room of Portsmouth Public Library. His presentation will include slides and video of the downtown.
The event is the third in a series of PS21-sponsored presentations this spring featuring planning experts on downtown planning and transportation. In January, urban planner Jeff Speck addressed how to make Portsmouth more ‘walkable.’ In April, parking expert and Cornell University professor Michael Manville spoke about parking and downtown vitality in April.
Chellman has more than 30 years experience in traffic engineering and street design. When Lowell, Mass. considered converting some streets from one- to two-way in 2014, Chellman analyzed the plan’s feasibility on behalf of the city. His recent work also has included projects around the United States — in Nantucket, Mass., Albuquerque, N.M., Santa Monica, Calif, and Kingston, R.I. — as well as internationally in China, Qatar, Guatemala and Russia.
He was the technical consultant for the NACTO Urban Street Design Guide, a national standard that cities can use “to make streets safer, more livable, and more economically vibrant.”
During planner Jeff Speck’s appearance in Portsmouth, Speck said that Chellman was one of the first engineers in the country to understand the impact of traffic on communities and to try to manage it through street design.
In the 1980s, in a study of downtown Portsmouth, Chellman found that people drove just one-third the amount predicted by national engineering standards. He determined that, because of the downtown’s network of streets, Portsmouth was a “park once” environment and did not require the wide streets national engineering standards thought were necessary.
Chellman also has worked extensively on the engineering and traffic engineering aspects of Traditional Neighborhood Development (TND), a basis for the New Urbanism movement, and he was a founding member of the Congress of New Urbanism.
The event is free and all are welcome. Please register to help ensure sufficient seating.
ABOUT PS21: Portsmouth Smart Growth for the 21st Century (PS21) aims to present ideas and encourage discussion and policy development around planning issues in Portsmouth, N.H. Our goal is to support the creation of a vibrant, sustainable, livable, and walkable community compatible with the principles of Smart Development, the historic nature of Portsmouth, and the context of the 21st century.
PS21 is an ad hoc group of residents and business people who support and present informational events as a basis for discussing development in Portsmouth and a long-term vision for the city. Past events have included: a public talk and workshop on “Walkable Cities” with author and planner Jeff Speck; a presentation by parking expert Michael Manville; a walking tour of the city’s developing North End; a workshop with Plan NH to discuss how to lead Portsmouth to a healthy and vibrant future; a book discussion; and a film screening of the architectural film “The Human Scale.”