This multi-use sidepath in Anchorage, AK is maintained and used for transportation year-round. Photo courtesy of Lori Schanche, Anchorage Department of Public Works.
Last month, Senator Mark Begich of Alaska introduced the Safe Streets Act of 2014 (S. 2004), which requires states and regions to adopt Complete Streets policies for federally funded transportation projects.
Why would a Senator from the nation’s coldest state introduce legislation that supports walking, biking and transit? Complete Streets strategies aren’t just for big cities or warm climates. Smaller cities and towns across the country are embracing Complete Streets, with policies now in place in 48 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia.
In Alaska, communities as far north as Fairbanks and North Pole are putting Complete Streets principles to work as more and more residents get around without getting in the car. And these efforts are paying off. The state ranks highest in the U.S. in the percentage of walking and biking commutes and in per capita funding for non-motorized transportation, and third-lowest in fatality rate among walkers and bicyclists.
A new implementation brief about Complete Streets in Alaska has even more information about the strategies being used by this snowy state. Here are some highlights from the brief.
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 >>
Yesterday we unveiled The Best Complete Streets Policies of 2013 and to celebrate we hosted an online discussion with representatives from many of this year’s top-scoring communities. Panelists gave listeners a behind-the-scenes look at how many of this year’s policies were created, and provided insights for how other communities create strong policies of their own.
If you were not able to join us for yesterday’s event, an archived recording is now available.
Watch the archived recording
|Watch the archived webinar|
|Download the presentation (PDF)|
Joining yesterday’s event were Roger Millar, Director of the National Complete Streets Coalition; Chris Kuschel, Regional Planner, Metropolitan Area Planning Council (Massachusetts); Mayor James R. Walker of Peru, IN; Mark Demchek, Executive Director of the Miami County, IN YMCA; Karen Mendrala, Livability Planner for Fort Lauderdale, FL; Mayor Jonathan LaBonte of Auburn, ME; Craig Saddlemire, Chair of the Bike/Ped Committee for Lewiston/Auburn, ME; Rick Taintor, Planning Director for Portsmouth, NH; Andrew Fangman, City Planner for Muscatine, IA; Chris Schmiesing, City Planner for Piqua, OH; Jamie Parks, Complete Streets Program Manager for Oakland, CA; Bob Vinn, Assistant City Engineer for Livermore, CA; Aric Schroeder, City Planner for Waterloo, IA; and Mayor Jon Crews of Cedar Falls, IA.
Livermore, CA is included among the top of The Best Complete Streets Policies of 2013.
A total of 83 communities adopted Complete Streets policies in the United States in 2013. 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 2013, released today by Smart Growth America’s National Complete Streets Coalition examines and scores each Complete Streets policy enacted in 2013. 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.
A mother and her child cross South Cobb Drive just south of Austell Road in South Cobb County, GA. Photo by Transportation for America via Flickr.
No one should have to risk their life just to cross the street.
If you’ve ever walked along a street with no sidewalk or crossed a road with no crosswalk, you know how dangerous incomplete streets can be. Making these streets safer is often easy and affordable—all it takes is the right approach.
A Complete Streets approach encourages traffic planners and engineers to make roads safer and more efficient for everyone who uses them. Over 600 towns, states and regions already have a Complete Streets policy in place and now, a new bill in Congress could bring this approach to communities across the country.
On Friday, Senators Mark Begich and Brian Schatz introduced the Safe Streets Act of 2014. The new bill mirrors legislation introduced in the House in June, and would encourage communities to include safety improvements in transportation project planning.
Students in Kailua, HI, walk along a street with Complete Streets features. A new bill in the Senate would require Complete Streets considerations for federal projects. Photo via Charlier Associates.
Whether you walk, bike, drive or take transit, Complete Streets policies help make sure you travel safely and conveniently, and a new bill introduced in the U.S. Senate would encourage every community in the country to use these strategies.
On Friday, Senators Mark Begich (D-AK) and Brian Schatz (D-HI) introduced the Safe Streets Act of 2014 (S. 2004), which would require all new federally-funded transportation projects use a Complete Streets approach to planning, designing and building roads to accommodate the safety and convenience of all users.
Indianapolis, IN had the highest scoring Complete Streets policy of 2012. Photo by Ian Freimuth via Flickr.
More than 80 communities passed Complete Streets policies in 2013, and on February 18, Smart Growth America’s National Complete Streets Coalition will unveil which ones were the best.
Each year, the Coalition analyzes Complete Streets policies enacted in the past year. These laws, resolutions, executive orders, policies and planning and design documents encourage and provide safe access to destinations for everyone, regardless of age, ability, income, ethnicity or how they travel.
Baltimore County became the sixth Maryland jurisdiction with a Complete Streets policy when its County Council adopted Resolution 126-13 just before Christmas. The detailed policy was crafted by the county’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee, which had been working toward a policy since 2011. Councilman David Marks lauded its passage, saying that despite the suburban county’s progress in constructing bicycle and trail infrastructure over the past several years, “we have very little land for new roads and need to use existing transportation capacity as wisely as possible.” Read more >>
Rina Cutler addresses the National Complete Streets Coalition’s annual dinner.
Friends and partners of the National Complete Streets Coalition gathered in Washington, DC last night to celebrate the Complete Streets movement, to discuss the Coalition’s work over the last year and to recognize the annual support from the Coalition’s 50 partner organizations.
The evening’s featured guest was Rina Cutler, Deputy Mayor for Transportation and Utilities for the city of Philadelphia. In her remarks, Cutler highlighted Philadelphia’s strategies for implementing Complete Streets. The idea of Complete Streets has grown from a minor issue endorsed by a small corps of local advocates into what Cutler described as a “citywide revolution” with widespread support.
Crews 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.