“Crazy ideas” in action: Complete Streets features in downtown West Jefferson, NC.
On Tuesday we hosted a panel discussion about Safer Streets, Stronger Economies, new research from the National Complete Streets Coalition on the outcomes of Complete Streets projects across the country. If you missed the event, read our full recap and watch the recorded webinar.
Dean Ledbetter, a Senior Engineer at the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT), joined the panel to discuss the Complete Streets project in downtown West Jefferson, NC. There were so many questions about working with transportation engineers, and for Dean specifically, that we said down with him for a follow-up conversation.
Alex Dodds: You mentioned that you initially thought that Complete Streets was a “crazy idea,” but that eventually you changed your mind. What convinced you?
Dean Ledbetter: I don’t know if there was one specific thing. I think I had to go through the [Federal Highway Administration’s] training several times for the reality of something new to overpower the existing “knowledge” I had about what my job was supposed to be. And I have to admit that we only went to those classes to get the free Professional Development Hours not because we really expected to learn anything useful.
On Tuesday, the National Complete Streets Coalition released Safer Streets, Stronger Economies, new research that analyzes data from 37 Complete Streets projects across the country, and explores the outcomes communities got for their investment. As part of the release the Coalition hosted a panel discussion to discuss the findings, and to highlight communities included in the report. A recording of the webinar is now available.
What have communities gotten for their investments in Complete Streets?
Fewer automobile collisions and injuries, and more people biking, walking, and taking transit. These projects were inexpensive yet can be effective, and were related to broader economic gains.
These are the findings of Safer Streets, Stronger Economies, released today by Smart Growth America’s National Complete Streets Coalition. The new report analyzes data from 37 Complete Streets projects across the country, and explores the outcomes communities got for their investment. Our new research finds:
Photo by San Francisco Bicycling Coalition
Safer streets, stronger economies — How well do Complete Streets projects achieve transportation goals like safety and throughput? How do they support broader economic efforts? Our new report, out on March 24, looks at data from dozens of Complete Streets projects from across the country to compare the outcomes communities get from their investments. On Tuesday, join our online discussion to hear from Seattle, North Carolina’s Department of Transportation, the Central Florida Partnership, and the Mayor of Normal, Illinois. Register today >>
Evaluating Complete Streets projects — In tandem with our Safer Streets, Stronger Economies report, we’ve developed an introductory guide on how agencies can measure the impact of Complete Streets projects. The guide includes a comprehensive list of relevant measures and metrics related to access, safety, economic impact, the environment, and quality of place. It’s out on March 31, with a webinar featuring an expert panel. Register today >>
USDOT Mayors’ Challenge update — On March 12, the U.S. Department of Transportation kicked-off a year of action on improving safety for people walking and bicycling in cities nationwide by hosting an all-day summit at DOT headquarters in Washington, DC. As of last week, nearly 190 communities have signed on. Nearly 70 have already committed to Complete Streets by adopting a policy and several more have already stated their intentions to adopt a policy as part of the Challenge. Read more about the summit >>
The National Complete Streets Coalition is coming out with two new resources detailing the benefits of Complete Streets projects, and how to measure them.
Photo by David Moisan, via Flickr
Take the USDOT Mayors’ Challenge — U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has issued a call to action, challenging local leaders to significantly improve pedestrian and bicycle safety in the next year. The first of seven identified action steps is to adopt a Complete Streets approach. Any level of jurisdiction can join the initiative and attend the kick-off summit in DC next month. Read more >>
Best Complete Streets policies of 2014 — This year’s best Complete Streets policies report has arrived! We’re excited to name Ogdensburg, NY, a community of The City of Ogdensburg, NY, located on the northern border of the state and home to 11,000 people, adopted 2014’s best-written policy, which scored a total of 92.8 points of a possible 100. To celebrate, we hosted an online discussion with representatives from a few of this year’s top-scoring communities. Check out the recording and recap of the kickoff event >>
On Tuesday we revealed The Best Complete Streets Policies of 2014, and to celebrate we hosted an online discussion with representatives from a few of this year’s top-scoring communities. If you missed the discussion, here’s a recap of the kickoff event.
|Watch the archived webinar|
|Download the presentation (PDF)|
Guadalupe Street in Austin, TX. Austin had one of the highest-scoring policies of 2014. Photo courtesy of the City of Austin.
A total of 74 communities adopted Complete Streets policies in the United States in 2014. These laws, resolutions and planning and design documents encourage and provide for the safe access to destinations for everyone, regardless of age, ability, income or ethnicity, and no matter how they travel.
The Best Complete Streets Policies of 2014, released today by Smart Growth America’s National Complete Streets Coalition examines and scores each Complete Streets policy enacted in 2014. The report outlines ten ideal elements of a Complete Streets policy and scores individual policies based on these ideals. Policy elements refine a community’s vision for transportation, provide for many types of users, complement community needs and establish a flexible approach necessary for an effective Complete Streets process and outcome.
Left: Secretary Foxx, photo by USDOT. Right: people walking and bicycling in Charlotte, NC. Photo by James Willamor
Yesterday, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx launched the Mayors’ Challenge for Safer People and Safer Streets—inviting mayors and other local elected officials to take significant action to improve the safety of their constituents who walk or bicycle in the next year.
Their first action: attending the Mayors’ Summit for Safer People, Safer Streets this March.
The Innovative MPO — A new resource from Transportation for America showcases more than 100 real-world examples and 20 detailed case studies from MPOs leading innovative initiatives. Created as a companion to The Innovative DOT, the report relates how MPOs of all sizes have stretched public resources, leveraged data for smart investments, and advanced regional and economic development priorities. Read more >>