Tag: Complete Streets

Since the workshop: Complete Streets improvements kick off Kaua’i County, HI’s downtown renaissance

hardy-street3New sidewalks near the intersection of Rice Street and Hardy Street, and at the entrance to Wilcox Elementary School. Photo via the County of Kaua’i.

County leaders in Kaua’i, HI are working to revitalize the Līhu’e Town Core as a vibrant, walkable heart of the island, with Rice Street as its main street. In 2008, the county crafted its Holo Holo 2020 plan to guide that work, and in 2014 they asked Smart Growth America to inform that work with a parking audit workshop. What has Kaua’i been up to in the time since?

Over the last year, Kaua’i has gotten started on its revitalization work with Complete Streets improvements to Hardy Street. New sidewalks, turn lanes, bike lanes, on-street parking, and street plantings will eventually run the entire length of Hardy Street, which is parallel to Rice and curves around to intersect with it in the heart of Līhuʻe’s town core.

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Complete Streets News — October 2015

House’s draft transportation bill includes Safe Streets provision — Last week, the House of Representatives’ Transportation and Infrastructure Committee marked up its version of a multi-year surface transportation bill. The original version of the bill included important language to encourage states and metropolitan planning organizations to plan and design for the safety needs of all users in federally-funded projects—a fantastic first step in helping communities across the United States use a Complete Streets approach. During markup, Representatives Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) and Dina Titus (D-NV) offered an amendment which makes the new draft even stronger. The new provision would require the U.S. Department of Transportation to provide regular updates on states’ progress and best practices on pedestrian safety improvements. Thank you to Representatives Curbelo and Titus for their leadership. The bill will next go to the House floor for a full vote. View Transportation for America’s amendment tracker >>

NJ Complete Streets Summit advances safe streets strategies — On October 26, the New Jersey Department of Transportation and the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center hosted the 2015 New Jersey Complete Streets Summit. The Summit brought together planners, engineers, and policy-makers from throughout New Jersey to advance strategies for providing safe, multi-modal transportation systems that are accessible to all users. The event featured keynote speeches from Mayor Dawn Zimmer of Hoboken and the National Complete Streets Coalition’s own Director, Emiko Atherton. Jack Nata, Manager of the Division of Traffic and Signals for Newark, and Mayor Benjamin Lucarelli of Fair Haven were awarded 2015 Complete Streets “Champion Awards” and the Cities of Camden, Hoboken, New Brunswick, Ocean City as well as the Borough of Highland Park and Passaic County were awarded the 2015 New Jersey Complete Streets Excellence Awards. The Summit also recognized 51 municipalities and two counties for their policy adoption. Congratulations to all of the awardees for your great work on behalf of Complete Streets! We hope to see similar gatherings in other states. View event photos >>

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An interview with Dongho Chang, Complete Streets engineer

WA Seattle Dongho Chang
Seattle’s chief road engineer Dongho Chang, next to Broadway’s new protected bike lane. Photo via the Green Lane Project on Facebook.

When activists painted a guerrilla bike lane in Seattle, they didn’t expect a traffic engineer to thank them. But that’s what Seattle traffic engineer Dongho Chang did, commending for bringing attention to the safety issue — and then installing a more permanent treatment soon after. Chang spoke with the National Complete Streets Coalition about a few of the Seattle Department of Transportation’s signature projects, the inspiration for his work, and what he’s learned in 25 years of traffic engineering.

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USDOT proposes to remove restrictive design guidelines that make safer streets more difficult to build


Crossposted from Transportation for America.

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) took an encouraging and surprising step this week to make it dramatically easier for cities and communities of all sizes to design and build complete streets that are safer for everyone by easing federally-mandated design standards on many roads.

Currently, FHWA has a long list of design criteria that local communities and states must adhere to when building or reconstructing certain roads, unless they choose to go through an arduous process of requesting an exception to do things like line a downtown street with street trees, reduce the width of lanes to add a bike lane, or curve a street slightly to slow traffic and make it safer for people in cars and on foot.

In this new proposed rule, FHWA decided after a thorough review to scrap 11 of 13 current design criteria for certain roads because they decided these criteria have “minimal influence on the safety or operation on our urban streets” and has a stronger connection for rural roads, freeways and higher speed urban arterials.

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All aboard for more accessible bus stops in greater Washington, DC

DC WMATA bus credit Elvert Barnes flickr
Photo: Elvert Barnes via Flickr

This post is the seventh in a series of case studies about Complete Streets people, places, and projects. Catch the final one next month!

The Washington, DC region prides itself on robust bus service, and a recent change to bus stop accessibility standards is opening the system to even more people.

Thousands of people in the Washington, DC region take the bus each day, including people with disabilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides three basic criteria when defining an “accessible” bus stop. It should 1) have a firm landing surface; 2) be at least five feet wide and eight feet long; and 3) connect to the curb. Because when bus stops are narrow or located in a patch of grass, getting to and waiting at the bus stop isn’t just unpleasant for people with disabilities — it’s a barrier to travel.

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No horsing around on Del Paso Boulevard in Sacramento, CA

CA Sacramento Del Paso after credit Fehr and Peers
Del Paso Boulevard in Sacramento, CA. Photo courtsey of Fehr & Peers.

This post is the sixth in a series of case studies about Complete Streets people, places, and projects. Follow the full series over the next several weeks.

If you’ve walked along Del Paso Boulevard in Sacramento, CA in recent years, you may have noticed horses imprinted on the street’s brickwork. The bricks are a tribute to the area’s ranching history — and a sign of a modern commitment to safety for everyone using the street.

Between 1844 and the early 1900s, in what is today North Sacramento, sat over 40,000 acres of Del Paso Ranch. The ranch’s ownership passed through several hands before it purchased by James B. Haggins, a Kentucky native who earned his fortune in copper mines and railroads. Haggins raised more than 1,000 thoroughbred horses at Del Paso Ranch, including, according to one source, the first Californian horse to win the Kentucky Derby. In 1905, when Haggins announced that he was leaving horse breeding because he was operating at a loss, a New York Times headline proclaimed that that his stock farm was “the Greatest Nursery of Thoroughbreds in the World.”

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A capitol idea for public engagement

DC movedc map credit thisisbossi Flickr
As part of their public outreach process, DDOT asked residents to map their daily commutes with pins and string. Photo by thisisbossi via Flickr.

This post is the fifth in a series of case studies about Complete Streets people, places, and projects. Follow the full series over the next several weeks.

All too often, engaging residents in long-range transportation planning means little more than holding a few, sparsely attended evening presentations. For their 2040 transportation plan, however, Washington D.C.’s District Department of Transportation (DDOT) decided to take a completely different approach and create a diverse array of opportunities to provide input, both in-person and online, that were fun, interactive, and personal to get as many DC residents, visitors, workers, and commuters as possible to share their ideas for the city’s transportation future.

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Just the right size

IL Chicago Lawrence Ave Woman on bike credit Hanna Kite
A new bike lane on Lawrence Avenue in the Ravenswood neighborhood of Chicago. Photo by Hanna Kite

This post is the fourth in a series of case studies about Complete Streets people, places, and projects. Follow the full series over the next several weeks.

A road diet, bicycle lanes, and a profusion of pedestrian improvements have subtly transformed a low-key Chicago neighborhood.

The Ravenswood neighborhood in Chicago, especially the northwest section along Lawrence Avenue, has a quiet, residential feel. Many people in the neighborhood have lived there for decades, and the area attracts families with young children. Six bus routes and two train lines serve the neighborhood, and ridership rates are high. Buildings in the neighborhood are at most only three or four stories high, and a pharmacy, grocery store, handful of boutiques, and cafes serve local residents. In general, Ravenswood is mostly free from the hustle and bustle of the more hip areas of Chicago.

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Speaking out for smart growth issues leads to a better transportation bill in the Senate

Yesterday, the Senate finally passed its version of a six-year federal transportation bill. As you likely know by now, this bill will have a huge impact on how communities across America grow in the coming years.

We asked you to speak out about a number of issues related to this bill over the last few weeks. And right now, I want to say thank you for stepping up.

Many of the crucial provisions we championed—the Safe Streets Act, TIFIA financing for transit-oriented development, and protection of the TIGER grants program at the U.S. Department of Transportation—were included in the final version of the bill.

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Senate transportation bill includes landmark provision for safer streets

Senators Schatz, Heller, Franken, and Udall champion provision to address national epidemic of pedestrian fatalities

The Senate voted on its final six-year transportation reauthorization bill today, and included in the bill was a landmark provision to make streets across the country safer for everyone who uses them. The Safe Streets amendment would require states and metropolitan planning organizations to plan and design for the safety needs of all users—regardless of age, ability, or mode of transportation—in all federally-funded projects.

“America is facing an epidemic of pedestrian deaths,” said Stefanie Seskin, Deputy Director of the National Complete Streets Coalition. “This bill will make a Complete Streets approach routine in federal projects. That means streets will be safer for Americans of all ages and abilities, no matter how they travel.”

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