Complete Streets News, November 2012

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Policy Adoption

Hailey, Idaho, a community of almost 8,000, adopted new street design standards to ensure that all streets within the city are designed and constructed to “appropriately address multi-modal needs and enable safe access for all users in a context sensitive manner.”

Middle Township, New Jersey joins the over 35 communities in New Jersey that have adopted a Complete Streets policy. The Township Committee approved a resolution on October 15, 2012.

Policy Action

A survey of Birmingham, Michigan residents reinforced the need for the city’s Complete Streets policy. Respondents indicated that while walking and bicycling were not their primary modes of transportation, many already travel by foot or bicycle and would do so more often if facilities were available. Birmingham’s next steps include two public workshops in early 2013 to gather more input from the community. (Birmingham Patch)

A redesign of Sacramento, California‘s Freeport Boulevard means students will feel safe riding bikes to school. Sacramento adopted a Complete Streets policy in 2004 via its Pedestrian Friendly Street Standards. (Sacramento Press)

Lee County, Florida has made great strides in implementing its Complete Streets policy, thanks in large part to the nonprofit BikeWalkLee. Many of the new facilities are filling gaps in the walking and bicycling network, resulting in a more usable network for all users. “The county’s Complete Streets policy is a great start, and county officials have been embracing it with more enthusiasm. But the real driver is people asking why their streets can’t include bike lanes and sidewalks, and getting out to use them when they’re built,” explains Ken Gooderham, a member of BikeWalkLee’s steering committee. (Fort Myers Florida Weekly)

In Indianapolis, Indiana, an editorial notes that the city’s recently adopted Complete Streets ordinance is one way Indy “is advancing toward the destination of 21st-century mobility that economics, environmental quality, health and safety demand.” (Indianapolis Star)

Advocates in New Orleans, Louisiana are pushing the city to reconsider its decision to remove bicycle lanes from its plans for a redesigned Decatur Street. A Complete Streets ordinance, adopted last year, requires the city to balance the needs of all roadway users. Residents gathered at a rally last week and put down temporary bike lanes to show that it was feasible to include them along the full length of the project. (Bike Easy)

Bellevue, Nebraska‘s Complete Streets committee surveyed community members about needed improvements to make walking and bicycling safer and more attractive. Bellevue’s Complete Streets policy is the first and only in Nebraska to date. (Omaha World Herald)

The Las Cruces, New Mexico City Council discussed ways to implement the community’s 2009 Complete Streets resolution, including more sidewalks, bike lanes, and off-street paths. (KFOX 14)

Greenville, South Carolina has used a Complete Streets approach on Church Street to spark new development on the corridor. The city adopted a Complete Streets resolution in 2008. (Greenville News)

Coalition News

Complete Streets: Tools to Move from Ideas to Practice – Coalition Deputy Director Stefanie Seskin presented alongside M. Paul Lippens, AICP, of Chicago’s Active Transportation Alliance at the American Planning Association’s Tuesdays at APA lecture series on November 13. Seskin outlined the importance of creating strong Complete Streets policies and discussed the 10 elements of a successful Complete Streets policy. Lippens examined 10 themes for Complete Streets implementation, using examples from the City of Chicago’s Complete Streets implementation. The American Planning Association is a Complete Streets Steering Committee member. An audio recording will be available soon, and materials from the talk are online now.

Coalition Thanks Renewing Partner – The National Complete Streets Coalition thanks Silver Partner T.Y. Lin International, an international infrastructure consulting firm with experience in multimodal planning and design, for renewing its Partnership this month. If your organization is not a Complete Streets Partner yet, check out the great benefits and join the Coalition today!

Complete Streets News

Complete Streets Pay Off – With its new report Measuring the Street: New Metrics for 21st Century Streets, New York City illustrates how its Complete Streets approach meets new goals for safety and efficiency – and builds local economies. “These projects aren’t just about the quality of life and aesthetics,” said New York City Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. “They really set the table for economic development.” The report is a model for other communities looking to measure and communicate the successes of their transportation investments. Read more on the Complete Streets blog >>

Complete Streets Keep Americans Mobile – In a blog post this week, NRDC’s Peter Lehner writes about the real and growing need for accessible public transportation in communities across the country. With data from the Brookings Institute, AARP, the Census, Duke University, and his colleagues at NRDC, Lehner makes the case that too many of our aging adults are living in communities that are not walkable or served by reliable public transportation. Improving public transportation access and walkability in these communities through Complete Streets would provide people with options and improve access, leading to long-lasting independence and mobility.

Boston has launched a new project to remake Dudley Square into a place that is safe for everyone and eases chronic gridlock. To achieve those goals, the city is using a Complete Streets approach and soliciting input from the Roxbury community.

A coalition in Grand Traverse County, Michigan is spreading the word about the benefits of Complete Streets.

A temporary Better Block in downtown Kansas City, Missouri added medians, pedestrian seating areas, plantings, and bike lanes to help residents envision what Complete Streets could mean if implemented in their community.

Concord, New Hampshire adopted recommendations from an advisory committee on the redesign of Main Street. Partially funded through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s competitive TIGER program, the project will use a Complete Streets approach to improve safety and economic vitality. “There’s nobody alive in this room that can guarantee that if we do these improvements, that our downtown will thrive,” said the committee’s chair, Steve Duprey. “But I think I can guarantee that if you do not make an investment in your downtown, you are going to see it atrophy further.”

Residents of Cranford, New Jersey are collecting signatures on a petition to adopt a Complete Streets policy in their town.

The Malone, New York Complete Streets Partnership is seeking input from area residents. The online survey asks about walking and bicycling habits and what could be done to make streets safer for those activities.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania‘s City Council Streets and Services Committee, led by Councilman Mark Squilla, approved legislation this week that would codify the city’s Complete Streets approach, and directs the use of a new Complete Streets Handbook in both city transportation projects and those undertaken by private developers. The bill will go to full council next month and the handbook is on track for a mid-January release.

Dallas, Texas put the final touches on its Bishop Avenue project. One of the city’s first attempts to implement Complete Streets, the roadway now includes new parallel parking spaces, bike lanes, special crosswalks, and new landscaping.

In an interview for NewPublicHealth, CDC Fellow Marissa Sheldon, MPH, discusses working with non-traditional partners in pursing Complete Streets initiatives in Manatee County, Florida.

Incomplete Streets Death: Enzo Padua — Fifteen year-old Enzo Padua died on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 after being hit by an 18-wheel truck in Cedar Park, Texas around 7:30 PM the same day. The five-lane road connects adjacent residential neighborhoods to commercial centers but has no sidewalks. Residents say people often walk on the shoulder of the road. This was at least the second pedestrian death on the road in the last two years.

Resources

Reports: Safe Bicycling Facilities and Route Choice – Two new reports discuss the varying safety of bicycle infrastructure and how the presence of such facilities influences the routes which bicyclists take. “Route Infrastructure and the Risk of Injuries to Bicyclists: A Case-Crossover Study,” published in the American Journal of Pubic Health, investigates the relationship between serious cycling injuries and bicycle infrastructure. The study found that bicycle infrastructure greatly diminished the likelihood of bicyclist injuries: by 90 percent on cycle tracks and by 50 percent on streets with bike lanes and no parked cars. Those on bikes consistently prefer the safer facilities. Researchers at the Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium released “Clearing a Path for Bicycling Investments.” Based on cyclists’ actual routes, the study finds people riding bicycles will go out of their way to use safer infrastructure, such as bike paths and bike boulevards.

Toolkit: Complete Streets for Long Island – The Tri-State Transportation Campaign and Vision Long Island released a new toolkit for Long Island, New York communities interested in adopting and implementing Complete Streets policies. It includes many resources, including a primer on liability issues in New York, to help localities create networks of safe, multimodal streets across the island.

Webinar: The Innovative DOT – On December 12 at 3:00 PM EST, State Smart Transportation Initiative, Smart Growth America, and the Federal Highway Administration for a webinar on The Innovative DOT, a policy and practice handbook for state leaders. Learn how state leaders are using innovative strategies, including Complete Streets, to “make systems more efficient, government more effective, and constituents better served.” Click here to register online.

Guide: Urban Streets Design Guide – The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) released the first look into its new project: an Urban Street Design Guide based on innovative and best practice solutions to creating safe, multimodal community streets. The Overview, released last month, establishes the five principles of urban street design and gives a sneak peak into solutions for streets of many widths, speed and safety, and some best practice treatments to improve safety and community. The full guide is slated for release in summer 2013.

Guide: Neighborhood Wayfinding Assessment – Easter Seals Project ACTION and the CDC Healthy Aging Research Network have developed a new pocket guide to assess signage and walkway availability and conditions in communities. Using the included checklist, residents can help their community leaders create safe and well-marked walkways for people of all ages and abilities.

MAP-21 Funds: Best Practices for MPOs – The League of American Bicyclists has created a new report to help metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) take advantage of the increased funding flexibility created in the new federal transportation bill. The report includes tips on integrating bicycling and walking into the general funding process and best practices for the Transportation Alternatives competitive grant process.

Book: City Cycling – Preeminent researchers John Pucher and Ralph Buehler released a new book, City Cycling, on the urban bicycling renaissance. Pucher and Buehler promote cycling as a form of accessible, sustainable transportation using data on cycling policies and trends in North America, Europe, and Australia. With contributions from many other leading transportation scholars, the book covers diverse topics such as bicycle safety and infrastructure, integrating cycling with transit, and promoting cycling for women and children.

Quotes

“Complete Streets is not an aspiration for the Georgia DOT; it is the way we go about our business every day…We are a different, wiser department now – we no longer see our mission as highways always; rather highways all ways.”
– Gerald M. Ross, Chief Engineer, Georgia Department of Transportation

“The challenge of Complete Streets is to creatively rethink every configuration of street use. In my view, it is a challenge well worth meeting.”
– Elizabeth K. Baker, Council president, Glen Ridge New Jersey

“Complete Streets must be put on a higher priority, and never be treated as an afterthought…To do otherwise is to invite tragedy, and nobody will be impressed by fixes made after it’s too late.”
– Kevin H. Posey, Transportation Commission Chairman, Alexandria Virginia

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