The global pandemic prompts rapid change in urban mobility practices to keep transportation workers and users safe.

With physical distancing now critical to prevent the spread of COVID-19, cities are looking to quickly adapt urban mobility practices to support safe travel and access to essential work and services. Given an uncertain timeline and unpredictable economy, policy makers and mobility planners are challenged with balancing current and future needs while promoting a new long-term sustainable agenda.

According to transportation advisor and mobility subject matter expert John Howe, success of the roadmap ahead relies on rapid-action planning and implementation to help communities become more stable. John is working closely with transport authorities, operators and developers to assess the impact of the pandemic on their communities, advise on their strategies to meet current needs and plan for the future.

“Our mobility experts located in cities around the world are ready with effective pandemic response solutions that can be incorporated into existing plans. We can help with recovery and prepare city leaders for the next generation of planning.”
- John Howe, transportation advisor

Unlocking mobility response solutions

What should cities and their transportation planners consider in the short-term as quick, affordable measures to promote effective physical distancing with smart mobility practices? Wood has identified key opportunities for quick-change enablement that can help offset COVID’s impact:

Creating a network of open streets for active mobility

 Mobility imageRepurposing motor vehicle lanes and on-street parking for walking and cycling mobility with a focus on routes that support essential workers.

Redefining curb lanes for physical distancing

 distribution strategiesTransforming curb lanes and replacing static on-street parking spaces with pick-up and delivery zones, stands for bicycle and scooter parking and larger areas for queuing.

Updating goods movement strategies for increased distribution

 safe public transitRethinking goods and movement strategies to reflect safe 24/7 distribution, instant consumer fulfillment and relaxed on-street parking restrictions for trucks and delivery vehicles.

Integrating sustainable practices for safe public transit

 Helping users find their wayImplementing physical distancing guidelines in every point of a journey and rescoping transit services to suit demand of essential workers.

Helping users find their way

Producing signs to support workers and users in navigating and embracing new ways of mobility.

Resilient and future-ready mobility solutions

Wood is committed to smart and sustainable infrastructure solutions. We lead mobility trends and recognise that now more than ever, flexible design, creative systems and innovative technologies are key for communities to effectively respond, recover and plan for the future.

Over the past 40 years, Wood has supported private and public sectors by contributing to expansion and updates for major transportation systems within Canada, delivering critical infrastructure for roads and bridges throughout the United States and used cutting-edge technology to analyse comprehensive infrastructure systems in the UK to meet sustainable targets and improve safety.

Wood is currently delivering the first transport modelling and connected vehicle project of its kind in the UK that will create better public space, improve network efficiency and reduce emissions.

Interested in learning more about helping transform your mobility planning strategy?

Contact us

John Howe
Transportation Advisor

John Howe, Transportation AdvisorJohn Howe’s 32-year career in high-profile strategic private and public sector roles has helped shape sustainable infrastructure development in Canada.

Most recently he founded his own consulting business. As transportation advisor, he plays a pivotal part in designing progressive mobility solutions for our clients using trend analysis and smart technology.

John has two degrees from Carleton University, in Ottawa, a Master’s in Public Policy and Administration and a Bachelor’s in Public Administration.