National Complete Streets Coalition

2014 TIGER grants will help create Complete Streets and great neighborhoods

dahlonega-gaDahlonega, GA will use its TIGER grant to make streets safer and more accessible. Photo via the Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau.

Earlier this week the U.S. Department of Transportation announced the winners of the 2014 Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants.

With an emphasis on getting the highest bang-for-the-buck and solid partnerships, it’s not surprising that many of the winning street projects and plans are those that take a Complete Streets approach. Here are some of our favorites.

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Applications now being accepted for Smart Growth America’s 2015 free technical assistance workshops

ta-workshops-2015Participants break into small groups to discuss local development issues at one of our past workshops. 

Is your city interested in smart growth, but not sure how to make it happen? Bring in the development experts with one of Smart Growth America’s 2015 free technical assistance workshops.

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USDOT announces new initiative to improve safety for people bicycling and walking

pedestrian-safetyThunderbird Avenue in Phoenix, AZ. Photo via Ped/Bike Images.

Americans today are walking and bicycling for fun, for their health, and as a way to get where they need to go. But in too many communities, roads are unsafe for people traveling by foot or bike. Today, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) announced plans to help end this deadly problem.

At the Pro Walk/Pro Bike/Pro Place conference this morning in Pittsburgh, USDOT Secretary Anthony Foxx announced a new federal initiative to make roads safer for people bicycling and walking. According to a USDOT release, the 18-month campaign will begin with road safety assessments conducted by USDOT field offices in every state, and will produce multiple resources to help communities build streets that are safer for people walking, bicycling, and taking public transportation.

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Join Smart Growth America at Pro Walk/Pro Bike/Pro Place 2014

pwpbpp-2014

The 2014 Pro Walk/Pro Bike/Pro Place conference is coming to Pittsburgh, PA September 8-11. Smart Growth America staff will be there, and we want to see you!

Join us first on Wednesday at 3:00 PM for Complete Streets: The Return on Investment of Safe Street Design. The session will discuss new research by Smart Growth America’s National Complete Streets Coalition that examines the cost-effectiveness of Complete Streets, and how well the approach achieves transportation objectives while also supporting local economies. In this session, we will review both our challenges and findings.

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Now Hiring: Complete Streets Fellow

The Complete Streets Fellow will support the work of Smart Growth America’s National Complete Streets Coalition, a diverse coalition of prominent national organizations working for the adoption and implementation of Complete Streets policies across the country. The Fellow will be …

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Inside Dangerous by Design: Pedestrian fatalities among people of color

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Pedestrians walking in the Atlanta metro region. Photo via Flickr.

Pedestrian deaths are a national epidemic in the United States. Within that epidemic, though, some populations have been hit harder than others.

In Dangerous by Design 2014, we ranked America’s most dangerous metropolitan areas for walking using our Pedestrian Danger Index (PDI). We investigated the nature of over 47,000 pedestrian deaths from 2003 through 2012 and identified the regions that most needed to improve pedestrian safety. In more recent years, many of them, including the Florida Department of Transportation, have started taking steps to keep people on foot safe.

But our analysis of demographic data, included in the report from a state-by-state view, also told a story of inequity.

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Join our team of Complete Streets expert instructors

Fairbanks wkspRyan Snyder facilitates discussion at a Complete Streets workshop in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Our Complete Streets workshop program is in high-demand, working with communities from Maine to Hawaii on the policy and process tools needed to create streets that are not just safe bur welcoming for all modes of travel and for people of all ages and abilities.

In cooperation with the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (APBP), we will train an additional 5 to 7 nationally recognized professionals to join our instructors corps. Two instructors co-teach each of our full-day, highly interactive workshops, one person an expert in engineering and design and the other in policy and planning. They contract directly with APBP or SGA and are paid a flat fee for preparation, instruction, and travel.

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Complete Streets News – July 2014

Policy Adoption

The Maine Department of Transportation adopted a Complete Streets policy on June 18. The internal policy directs MaineDOT and its partner agencies to improve conditions for all road users even during routine repaving and maintenance work, and appoints the Maine Bicycle and Pedestrian Council to oversee ongoing implementation of the policy.

In suburban Detroit, the Macomb County, MI, Board of Commissioners unanimously adopted a Complete Streets policy on June 19. In urging her colleagues to support the measure, Commissioner Toni Moceri cited the recent LOCUS report “Foot Traffic Ahead,” on the growing demand for walkable urban places.

The Township of Hopewell, in Mercer County, NJ, passed Complete Streets legislation in June, becoming the first New Jersey municipality to adopt Complete Streets by ordinance.

The Austin, TX, City Council also adopted a Complete Streets policy last month, via an ordinance. The comprehensive policy links the city’s commitment to safe streets for all users to its desire to create great places that incorporate green infrastructure. It also charges the city with developing new multimodal performance metrics. Local leaders based much of the document on conversations facilitated in a National Complete Streets Coalition policy development workshop last year.

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“They’re gonna need to see this upstairs.”

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Smart Growth America President Geoff Anderson personally delivered the safety rule comments to USDOT.

“They’re gonna need to see this upstairs” — that’s what the staff at the U.S. Department of Transportation said about your letters this week.

By Monday afternoon, over 1500 of you made your voices heard in support of stronger transportation safety measures through our online action. Geoff Anderson, president and CEO of Smart Growth America, personally delivered your letters calling on USDOT to require that states set real targets for reducing the number of deaths and serious injuries on our streets and that they be held accountable as they work toward those goals.

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Last chance to tell USDOT to set real safety goals

Students walk along street with no sidewalks next to automobile traffic.

There’s just one week left to tell the US Department of Transportation to get serious about safety and accountability.

In MAP-21, the current federal law governing national transportation investments, Congress directed the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) to set certain measures of progress for the state transportation agencies. In March, USDOT unveiled its proposal for measuring and showing progress in reducing traffic fatalities and serious injuries both as pure numbers and as a function of vehicles miles traveled (VMT). Congress clearly stated that they wanted a “significant reduction” in fatalities and injuries for all users on all roads, and they doubled the amount available through the related safety program to help achieve that goal.

USDOT’s proposal falls short. Send a letter to Secretary Foxx today.

First, states only need to show progress in two of those four goals, which is out of step with Congressional intent.

Second, the process for setting goals and measuring progress is out of line with the goals states already develop—and no where near visionary or inspiring. Instead, USDOT would use a historical trend line to establish targets each year. States make “significant progress” by achieving fatality or injury numbers within a 70 percent confidence interval of that projected trend line. If a state’s target is determined to be 759 fatalities, so long as it sees fewer than 825 fatalities, USDOT will say that it has made progress. More people can die or be seriously injured without consequence.

Our third issue with the rulemaking: it doesn’t separate non-motorized users from motorized. In doing so, states could lose sight of growing safety problems in walking and bicycling among the larger share, and generally downward trending, of vehicular safety.

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