Chicago DOT commissioner headlines annual dinner — Complete Streets News, January 2013

Policy Adoption

On January 14, the Alameda, California city council approved a Complete Streets policy by resolution. The policy reflects and is responsive to the city’s adopted General Plan, and includes direction on design guidance, working with stakeholders, and those authorized to approve exceptions. Read the Alameda Policy (PDF)

Suisun City, California, a community of 28,000 northeast of San Francisco, adopted a Complete Streets policy via resolution on December 18. In doing so, the city becomes eligible for the OneBayArea grant program, administered by the regional planning organization. The city will work on an update to its general plan that complies with the state’s Complete Streets law. Read the Suisun City Policy (PDF)

Policy Progress

San Diego is home to the nation’s newest, and largest, regional automatic system to count people riding bikes and walking. While information about how many drivers are using the roads is plentiful, most cities do not know much about those using other modes to get around. Installing this system is a key piece to the implementation of San Diego’s Complete Streets policy. (KPBS)

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick will speak to a plan that will improve transportation options across the state this week. A preview of the proposals, presented by Transportation Secretary Richard Davey, include big investments in public transportation and a bolstered program to support walking and bicycling facilities. Massachusetts has had a state Complete Streets law since 1996 and a supportive design manual was adopted in 2006. (Boston Herald)

The North Carolina Department of Transportation has announced dates and locations for several of its two-day Complete Streets trainings. The agenda includes an overview of Complete Streets; detailed information about the state’s Complete Streets Policy and Guidelines and how they can be applied to projects; and field exercises. Trainings such as these are vital to successful Complete Streets initiatives at all governmental levels.

A major arterial street in Seattle’s Central District neighborhood is up for reconstruction in 2014 – and the city is beginning public outreach now. Currently the most dangerous street in the neighborhood for all users, the redesign will follow the city’s Complete Streets ordinance and improve safety for everyone. (Central District News)

Coalition News

Third Annual Complete Streets Dinner a Success – Last night, 50 Partners and friends of the National Complete Streets Coalition came together in Washington, D.C. to celebrate the Complete Streets movement and the fruitful partnerships and friendships it has created. Remarks by the dinner’s featured guest, Commissioner Gabe Klein (pictured above) of the Chicago Department of Transportation, added to the room’s enthusiasm.

Commissioner Klein discussed building support for safer streets across Chicago and especially among business leaders. As Klein put it, “We, particularly the Mayor [of Chicago Rahm Emanuel], talk about economics and quality-of-life, and that Complete Streets are better for businesses.” Read more about the event on our blog later this month.

New and Updated Presentations Available – We are pleased to release three new (or updated!) PowerPoint presentations for use in or adapt for your community. Check out “Introduction to Complete Streets” for the basics on why we need Complete Streets; “The Many Benefits of Complete Streets” for what the Complete Streets approach can mean in your community; and “Complete Streets: Changing Policy” to learn more about the elements of an ideal Complete Streets policy. Each presentation includes citations and presenter notes.

Complete Streets Partners Continue to Support Our Work – The Coalition thanks Johnson, Mirmiran & Thompson, Inc.; HDR, Inc.; and Alta Planning + Design for their continued support as Partners at the Silver level. We also welcome our newest Individual Partner, Barbara McCann. Partners Support the Coalition’s work by becoming a Partner today!

Complete Streets News

Complete Streets Means Complete Networks – A new series of blog posts from Los Angeles Departments of City Planning and Transportation expounds on the city’s efforts to embrace a Complete Streets approach in its planning and engineering. The first thre entries describe some challenges the city is working to overcome; how they anticipate enhancing a network of streets for travel via public transportation; and some tools and policies to improve public and privately owned spaces for those on foot. Part One. Part Two. Part Three.

Washington, D.C.’s regional planning agency will host a half-day event for state and local jurisdictions to hear about Complete Streets implementation in the region.

Manatee County, Florida officials voted unanimously to amend the County’s comprehensive plan with a new goal: Complete Streets. The in-development amendment would allow more flexibility in road design and ensure context sensitive approaches. (Palm Coast Observer)

A new analysis from Tri-State Transportation Campaign (pdf) identifies the most dangerous roads for people riding bikes in northern New Jersey. With nearly 20,000 crashes and over 80 deaths in ten years, the report makes the case for a Complete Streets approach that will improve safety on these roadways for all users.

Complete Streets is catching on in the Farmington, New Mexico region, where the regional planing organization is working municipalities to determine how the concept could best benefit the region. (Farmington Daily Times)

The St. Lawrence Health Initiative is offering funding to for two communities in St. Lawrence County, New York to develop Complete Streets policies.

Houston residents who support safe streets for everyone are encouraged to sign two petitions: one from Bike Texas for a statewide Complete Streets law and a second from the Houston Coalition for Complete Streets in support of a citywide policy.

Snowfall impacts transportation plans and designs in many cities, and a recent article in the Huffington Post illuminates how providing for walking, bicycling, and public transit are vital tools in such cities’ resiliency during winter months. 

Incomplete Streets Death: Hannelore Zimmerman – Hannelore Zimmerman, 89, died after being struck by a driver around 1:00pm on Tuesday January, 8 in Bern County, Oregon. Zimmerman was walking from her home to retrieve her mail on Fern Road when she was hit. Fern Road is a hilly, rural, shared road with no shoulder for people who are walking or bicycling. Neighbors say it is difficult for drivers to see people walking, jogging, and bicycling.

Resources

Handbook: Making the Most of Map-21 – An easy-to-follow resource from Transportation for America helps transportation stakeholders understand the new federal transportation bill. The handbook provides a “roadmap” for communities to affect the decision-making process, including funding projects, measuring performance, and supporting multimodal travel options.

Research: White Paper Series – The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center has created a new series of white papers to enable easy and fast access to the latest in research, resources, and tools related to biking and walking. Two are already available; future topics will include high visibility crosswalks, road diets, and cycle tracks.

Report: Active Transportation and Chronic DiseaseNew research published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine shows that adults who engage in active transportation have better cardiovascular health and lower rates of hypertension and diabetes than adults who do not. These findings demonstrate that infrastructure and policies, such as Complete Streets, are associated with health outcomes. 

Research: Pedestrian Topics – The Transportation Research Board’s 2012 edition of its Pedestrians issue consists of 19 research papers. Many topics are covered, including discussions of pedestrian behavior, access and connectivity of pedestrian networks, and pedestrian safety.

Books: Providing Better Transportation Options – Two new books on creating walkable and transit-friendly community will help those charged with implementing Complete Streets. In Pedestrian- and Transit-Oriented Design, authors Reid Ewing and Keith Bartholomew outline how to simultaneously design for pedestrians and transit users. Jeff Speck’s Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time presents practical and achievable steps towards improving America’s downtowns by improving walkability.

Webinar: Toward Zero Deaths – On Thursday January 31 from 2:00-3:30pm ET, join a webinar on engineering, education, enforcement, policy, and funding strategies that can drastically improve safety and prevent transportation-related deaths. Hosted by the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, the webinar is free to all. Register online.

Resources: Context Sensitive Solutions and BeyondWebinar archives, new case studies, and videos are among the resources now available on ContextSensitiveSolutions.org.

Call for Proposals: Safe Routes Conference – Submissions for session proposals for the Safe Routes to School Partnership National Conference are open now through February 15. The conference will be help August 13-15, 2013 in Sacramento, California. To submit: http://saferoutesconference.org/program/cfsp/form

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