Author Archives: Stefanie Seskin

Complete Streets News – April 2014

Policy Adoption

The Middletown, CT Planning and Zoning Commission voted last month to incorporate a Complete Streets Master Plan as an amendment to the city’s Plan of Conservation and Development. The plan’s development was led by a citizen committee working closely with the Common Council and Mayor Daniel Drew, and its adoption will ensure Complete Streets principles are integral part of the city’s long-term planning process. Read more >>

The city council in Columbus, GA, which had been working toward a Complete Streets policy since the fall, resolved in March to adopt the Georgia Department of Transportation’s Complete Streets design policy as its own guide for all local transportation improvements. Read more >>

The Philadelphia-area community of Cherry Hill, NJ, adopted a Complete Streets policy in late March. The resolution provides additional backing for the commitment to multimodal accessibility the township made in its 2013 pedestrian and bicycle master plan. Read more >>

Chattanooga became the latest Tennessee city to adopt a Complete Streets measure, when city council adopted an ordinance on April 1. The new policy builds on the successful launch of a 33-station bikeshare system in 2012—the largest new system in the country at the time—which galvanized local support for inclusive transportation policy and infrastructure. Read more >>

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USDOT’s proposed safety rule gives agencies a pass on progress

Get out your commenting pens, folks, because the U.S. Department of Transportation’s proposed rule for measuring progress on safety needs a lot of work.

In the 2012 transportation law, MAP-21, Congress directed the DOT to set measures of progress in a number of areas that could be used to hold transportation agencies accountable. The first one out of this gate last week was safety. [See the full rule as published in the Federal Register here.]

It should have been a triumph for people concerned about the lives and well-being of all users of the road network. For the first time, Congress emphasized that state DOTs would need to significantly reduce the number and rate of deaths and injuries on our roadways. And the DOT’s rhetoric in the new rule suggests that as their intention.

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Complete Streets News – February 2014

Policy Adoption

Hot off the presses! The latest edition of the Coalition’s annual policy analysis, The Best Complete Streets Policies of 2013, was released yesterday. Each year, the Coalition scores every ordinance and resolution in the country on ten elements of an effective Complete Streets policy. Of the more than 80 Complete Streets policies adopted across the country in 2013, the small Boston suburb of Littleton, MA, scored highest. Another 14 jurisdictions—large and small, urban, suburban and rural—were highlighted in the report for their well crafted Complete Streets policies, and representatives from most of the top-scoring communities participated in Smart Growth America’s webinar discussing their work. This year’s analysis found that adopted policies are getting stronger, with more jurisdictions including solid implementation steps than ever before. Read full report >>

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How do you shovel a bike lane? New resources for maintaining Complete Streets in snowy weather

nyc-dot-bike-lane-snowCrews clear snow from a pedestrian and bicycle path in New York City last week. Photo by New York City Department of Transportation via Twitter.

A large swath of the country is still digging out from the most recent round of winter snow storms, deploying plows, snow blowers, shovels, sand, salt and even cheese to keep people moving. Many of these strategies focus on keeping roads clear for drivers. What about for people who walk, bicycle or rely on transit?

Complete Streets is a process for funding, planning, designing, building, operating and minting community streets so that travel by all modes is safe and comfortable. In climates where snowfall is expected, Complete Streets mean thoughtful roadway design and appropriate plans and policies for snow and ice management for all users.

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You are invited to the fourth annual Complete Streets dinner

Rina_CutlerRina Cutler, Philadelphia’s Deputy Mayor for Transportation and Utilities, will be our featured guest

The National Complete Streets Coalition will host its annual dinner next month—and we hope you’ll join us!

This year, we’re honored to have Rina Cutler, Deputy Mayor for Transportation and Utilities for Philadelphia, as our featured guest. Hailed as a Public Works Leader of the Year and one of COMTO’s Women Who Move the Nation, she recently led efforts to develop Philadelphia’s Complete Streets Design Handbook, a model for Complete Streets implementation. Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter appointed Ms. Cutler to her current position in 2008, where she is responsible for coordination and oversight of all transportation functions and several city agencies.

The National Complete Streets Coalition’s annual dinners bring together the top minds working for Complete Streets across the country, including our national Steering Committee members, our well-known corps of workshop instructors, staff from our Partner organizations—and you! Together, we’ll celebrate recent Complete Streets successes nationally and locally and forge friendships with colleagues and peers over informal discussion.

We’ll be dining on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 in Washington, DC’s Woodley Park neighborhood. Seats are available for $150. Head table seats are available for $200. Click here to reserve your tickets online. Current and new Complete Streets Partners receive a significant discount, and Partners at the Silver level and above are eligible to receive complimentary seats.

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Complete Streets News – November 2013

Get our monthly Complete Streets News delivered straight to your inbox: Join our mailing list today! Policy Adoption The Peru, IN City Council unanimously approved a Complete Streets ordinance on November 4, and the community is already discussing its first …

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Complete Streets News – October 2013

Get our monthly Complete Streets News delivered straight to your inbox: Join our mailing list today!

Policy Adoption

The Fort Lauderdale, Florida, City Commission adopted a Complete Streets policy on October 1, along with a design manual to guide implementation. The city is encouraging better pedestrian, bicycle, and transit accommodations through both the transportation planning and the development review processes. With several demonstration projects already underway, the city will provide further strategic guidance in its Multimodal Connectivity Program, to be released later in the fall. Read more >>

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) introduced a new Healthy Transportation Policy Directive that will boost the Department’s commitment to Complete Streets. Under the directive, all MassDOT Divisions will review all projects currently in design to ensure they “increase and encourage more pedestrian, bicycle and transit trips.” Any projects that do not do so must have approval from thee Secretary and CEO of Transportation before moving ahead. MassDOT will be able to use guidance from NACTO, including its Urban Bikeway Design Guide, in fulfilling the directive’s intent. “This policy directive is the next step in putting into daily practice our commitment to build a healthy, sustainable transportation system that meets all our customers’ needs,” said MassDOT Secretary Davey. Read more >>

Lincoln, Nebraska Mayor Chris Beutler signed a Complete Streets executive order last month. The order calls for the development of an interdepartmental process to ensure Complete Streets is applied; establishes limited exceptions; and requires annual reports on progress. Read more >>

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Join the advocates speaking out for the Safe Streets Act today

Today, hundreds of advocates are in Washington, DC to ask Congress to make a Complete Streets approach the national standard.

We’re on Capitol Hill this morning speaking out for the Safe Streets Act of 2013, a bill introduced in the House of Representatives in June that would encourage communities to consider safety improvements in transportation project planning.

Join the advocates in Washington this morning: Tell your Representative you support the Safe Streets Act. 

Planning for safer streets saves lives. Safety improvements can often be made at little or no extra cost and without separate funding sources.

Perhaps most importantly, the bill does not trigger any new federal spending. 

Help make streets safer for everyone who uses them: Speak out for the Safe Streets Act today.

Despite the partisan gridlock Washington currently faces, making streets safer is an issue legislators on both sides of the aisle can get behind and the Safe Streets Act already has bipartisan support.

This is a bill that Congress can come together on: Speak out for the Safe Streets Act today.

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FHWA Supports Flexible Design Guides – Complete Streets News, September 2013

Policy Adoption Deerfield Beach, Florida officially adopted Complete Streets Guidelines on August 20. With these Guidelines, city staff will be better prepared to plan and design streets that work for all users, regardless of age, ability, or mode of transportation. …

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Join the National Complete Streets Coalition at the 2013 National Walking Summit

Walking Summit
Complete Streets features make this street in Bellingham, WA safer and more accessible for pedestrians. Photo by Walkable Communities, via Flickr.

In early October, the National Complete Streets Coalition, a program of Smart Growth America, will be at the National Walking Summit here in Washington, D.C., sharing information and skills for successful Complete Streets policy and implementation with the many other national and local leaders in attendance.

Walking is the most basic form of travel, an easy way to be physically active and a powerful tool for economic and social well-being of our communities. The Coalition works to improve safety and access to community destinations for people who travel by foot, as well as by wheelchair, bicycle, public transportation, or automobile.

On the Summit’s opening day, October 1, join our 4:00 PM session “Completing Our Streets: Policy and Advocacy Tools to Get You Moving.” Laura Searfoss, our Policy Associate, will open the session with the basics on Complete Streets policy: What makes a good Complete Streets policy? Who has one already? Why does any community even need one?

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