Category: Complete Streets Resources

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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Completing Our Streets: Who gets priority?

Health Line
Cleveland, OH’s HealthLine is a bus rapid transit (BRT) system that offers rail-like convenience with the flexibility of a bus. It connects Public Square to the Louis Stokes Station at Windermere in East Cleveland. Photo by EMBARQ Brasil via Flickr.

This post is the fifth in a twice-monthly series of excerpts from Completing Our Streets: The Transition to Safe and Inclusive Transportation Networks, the new book from Island Press by Barbara McCann, founder of the National Complete Streets Coalition. The book discusses the keys to the movement’s success, and how places and practitioners in the United States are tackling the challenges of putting a new transportation paradigm into daily practice.

All National Complete Streets Coalition Platinum Partners and those who upgrade to the next Partnership level will receive a signed copy of Completing Our Streets. Become a Coalition Partner today!

From Chapter 8: The Balancing Act: Setting Priorities for Different Users

Making a commitment to Complete Streets breaks open a tidy linear system that has traditionally delivered roads designed only to speed motor vehicles to their destinations. The transportation project pipeline was good at taking in a narrow set of inputs at one end and pouring out a finished road at the other. Agencies must now bring many more modes, voices, and considerations into the process all along the way. What was a pipeline can become something of a swamp; everyone involved may end up feeling caught in a morass of competing claims for limited roadway space and limited funding. Rather than simply delivering a project, transportation professionals must navigate their way toward a solution that may not quite satisfy anyone.

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Completing Our Streets: The revolution begins with a meeting

Brownsboro Rd before and after
Bill Deatherage, of the Kentucky Council of the Blind, walking along Louisville, KY’s Brownsboro Road before and after sidewalk construction. Photo by Anne M. McMahon.

This post is the fourth in a twice-monthly series of excerpts from Completing Our Streets: The Transition to Safe and Inclusive Transportation Networks, the new book from Island Press by Barbara McCann, founder of the National Complete Streets Coalition. The book discusses the keys to the movement’s success, and how places and practitioners in the United States are tackling the challenges of putting a new transportation paradigm into daily practice.

All National Complete Streets Coalition Platinum Partners and those who upgrade to the next Partnership level will receive a signed copy of Completing Our Streets. Become a Coalition Partner today!

From Chapter 4: Process Over Projects: Changing How Decisions are Made

The disconnected sidewalks, marooned bus stops, curb ramps to nowhere, and other gaps in transportation infrastructure are usually a reflection of gaps in the processes used for planning, design, and construction. In many jurisdictions, no one has thought about how to balance the needs of more than one mode, or how to get the details right on small-scale nonmotorized infrastructure, or how to coordinate transportation planning with the surrounding neighborhood. Another gap is human. The people navigating that landscape by foot or wheelchair were likely not in the room when the decisions were made.

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Completing Our Streets: Closing the gap between policy and practice

Boulder, CO
Boulder, CO has made a concerted effort over the past 20 years to implement Complete Streets as part of everyday decision making. Photo by Barbara McCann.

This post is the fourth in a twice-monthly series of excerpts from Completing Our Streets: The Transition to Safe and Inclusive Transportation Networks, the new book from Island Press by Barbara McCann, founder of the National Complete Streets Coalition. The book discusses the keys to the movement’s success, and how places and practitioners in the United States are tackling the challenges of putting a new transportation paradigm into daily practice.

All National Complete Streets Coalition Platinum Partners and those who upgrade to the next Partnership level will receive a signed copy of Completing Our Streets. Become a Coalition Partner today!

From Chapter 3: Closing the Gap Between Policy and Practice

While adoption of a Complete Streets policy is the first step on a clear path for changing transportation practice, the attempt to marshal political and community support behind a new approach to transportation planning too often flounders once the policy is in place. This is particularly true when the effort has been made primarily from the outside, when advocates or lawmakers have created and adopted a policy with resistance or only lukewarm interest from the transportation agency that has to implement it. The advocates’ euphoria may wear off quickly when absolutely nothing happens inside the department after the policy passes. Or the disillusionment may come more slowly, after many months of working with the agency’s staff and leadership only to find that the changes made are minor or have been blocked by midlevel management.

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Materials from the National Complete Streets Coalition’s sessions at National Walking Summit 2013

Complete Streets partners breakfast
At the National Complete Streets Coalition’s partner breakfast, part of the 2013 Every Body Walk conference last week.

The National Complete Streets Coalition had a whirlwind week last week at the first-ever National Walking Summit in Washington, DC. More than 300 participants came together to discuss ways to support walking through policy, design, advocacy, funding, organizing and engagement in communities large and small. The conference had great energy and enthusiasm for Complete Streets and how this approach supports safe, inviting and convenient places to walk.

With the help of the DowntownDC BID, the Coalition welcomed 15 Partners and Steering Committee members to Washington at its Partners breakfast. After catching up with one another, the Partners heard from Ellen Jones, Director of Infrastructure and Sustainability for the Downtown BID, about how downtown DC will begin to accommodate more pedestrians as travel demand increases.

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Completing Our Streets: A smart approach to the cost of Complete Streets

Richfield, MN
In Richfield, Minnesota, a utility project led to the reconfiguration of 76th Street with sidewalks, a side path, and fewer lanes, saving $2 million from original projections. Residents to the east now want to extend the features further along the street. Image via the City of Richfield.

This post is the third in a twice-monthly series of excerpts from Completing Our Streets: The Transition to Safe and Inclusive Transportation Networks, the new book from Island Press by Barbara McCann, founder of the National Complete Streets Coalition. The book discusses the keys to the movement’s success, and how places and practitioners in the United States are tackling the challenges of putting a new transportation paradigm into daily practice.

Today’s excerpt addresses a common concern: costs. The National Complete Streets Coalition recently published a toolkit to help local supporters respond to cost concerns, with examples from across the country. The report is accompanied by PowerPoint slides that can be downloaded and selectively used in community meetings.

All National Complete Streets Coalition Platinum Partners and those who upgrade to the next Partnership level will receive a signed copy of Completing Our Streets. Become a Coalition Partner today!

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Smart Growth News – August 5, 2013

How One Family Made Cleveland (Yes, Cleveland) Cool
The National Journal – August 1, 2013
It took years of collaboration between developers, businesses, local institutions, and government, but today downtown Cleveland is taking off—and giving the old Rust Belt city a future. There wasn’t a market for urban living in Cleveland until developers like the Marons built places where young professionals would want to be.

House Declines to Act On SAFE Bridges Act Before Recessing
Transportation Issues Daily – August 4, 2013
The Strengthen and Fortify Existing Bridges (SAFE Bridges) Act would distribute funds among States “by a needs-based formula based on each State’s share of deficient bridges.”

Why the House GOP’s Cuts to Housing and Transportation Were So Unpopular
Washington Post Wonkblog – August 1, 2013
The leadership couldn’t find enough votes for the bill, in part because the proposed spending cuts were too deep for virtually all Democrats and even some Republicans.

Congress Must Increase Transit Funding and Help America Get to Work
The Hill – August 2, 2013
A bipartisan group in the U.S. House of Representatives has introduced legislation to preserve tax credit parity for transit riders. We now need our Congressional leaders to act in the same spirit and forge a compromise on a long-term solution to adequately finance American’s public transportation systems.

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Smart Growth News – July 23, 2013

The Prosperity Agenda: Michigan Cities and Downtown Centers Experiencing Population Growth Despite Challenges
Economics of Place – July 22, 2013
On this month’s Prosperity Agenda we talk with experts about what is driving people to choose to live in Michigan’s largest cities’ and downtown centers despite the challenges facing many of these communities.

White House Threatens to Veto GOP Transportation, Housing Bill
The Hill – July 22, 2013
“The bill severely undermines critical investments in economic and community development programs that drive local innovation.”

Memo to the President: Transportation Choices Boost Economic Choices
NRDC Switchboard – July 22, 2013
President Obama now has the opportunity to reframe transportation more thoroughly as a tool for boosting economic prospects for this generation and the next.

Is Your City Age-Ready?
The Huffington Post – July 22, 2013
Despite the richness of discussion, decision-makers must ask if there are investments being made today. Changes to infrastructure, novel institutional arrangements and expanded services will take time to develop and implement to respond to an older population with unprecedented cultural and income diversity.

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