Tag: Complete Streets

A transportation engineer on what convinced him to use a Complete Streets approach

west-jefferson“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.

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Get the recap: “Safer Streets, Stronger Economies” webinar and discussion

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.

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The benefits of Complete Streets — and how to measure them

The National Complete Streets Coalition is coming out with two new resources detailing the benefits of Complete Streets projects, and how to measure them.

Safer Streets,
Stronger Economies

Coming out March 24, 2015
1 PM EDT

How well do Complete Streets projects achieve transportation goals like safety and throughput? How do they support broader economic efforts? This new research looks at data from dozens of Complete Streets projects from across the country to compare the outcomes communities get from their investments. Join the online kickoff discussion to hear about the success some cities have had with Complete Streets.

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Evaluating Complete Streets Projects

Coming out March 31, 2015
1 PM EDT

A Complete Streets approach connects community goals to transportation investments, and measuring the performance of these projects can help communicate that connection. This introductory guide will provide an overview of how to evaluate Complete Streets projects, including the measures and metrics most useful to common goals, and a handy list of resources for more in-depth application. 

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Announcing the Best Complete Streets Policies of 2014

best-cs-policies-2014-blog-banner
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.

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Secretary Foxx challenges mayors to a Complete Streets approach

Secretary Foxx and Charlotte
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.

Their second: Taking a Complete Streets approach locally.

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National Complete Streets Coalition to unveil top Complete Streets policies of 2014


Livermore, CA passed one of the best Complete Streets policies of 2013. Which communities will be on the 2014 list?

Over 70 communities passed Complete Streets policies in 2014 and on February 10, Smart Growth America’s National Complete Streets Coalition will unveil which ones were the best.

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Complete Streets workshop helps Hot Springs, AR improve public health

Downtown_Hot_Springs,_Arkansas_(aerial)
Bird’s eye view of downtown Hot Springs, AR. Photo by Samuel Grant via Wikipedia Commons.

Thanks to its thermal springs and mountainous setting, Hot Springs, AR, has long been a destination for health, wellness, and recreation. Over the years, however, the city has largely built a street network designed for the needs of automobiles—with little regard for the mobility of pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit riders. Now, local officials in Hot Springs are recognizing that prioritizing car and truck travel to the exclusion of these other users has had a significant impact on the health and well-being of its community—and they’re working to make a change.

On September 17 and 18, 2014, Smart Growth America visited Hot Springs for a two-day workshop on drafting a Complete Streets policy—a package of codes and laws ensuring that streets are designed for community members of all ages and abilities. Provided as part of a free, grant-funded technical assistance program, the workshop helped provide Hot Springs with the tools to write a comprehensive policy and develop a plan to implement it.

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Complete Streets News – October 2014


Photo by Rob Ketcherside, via Flickr

U.S. Department of Transportation announces major street safety initiative — Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx called it “the most innovative, forward-leaning” initiative “ever”, the department will be working toward safer places and safer policies for people on foot and bike, just as they do for people in cars, trucks, and airplanes. The initiative is heavy on changing the way we design our streets—the most important factor for improved safety—from start to finish. With new, research-based design guidance, partnerships with local, state, and national transportation staff and public interest groups, and a focus on interconnected networks, we expect big results. Read more >>

First-ever Puerto Rico Complete Streets Congress — Presented by AARP Puerto Rico on October 3, the Congress convened 160 transportation, public health, and other community leaders who wanted to elevate Complete Streets policies and strategies across the island. Participants focused on public health issues and implementation of the state’s 2010 Complete Streets law. Read more >>

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El primer congreso de Calles Completas en Puerto Rico

AARP PR Director Jose AcaronJosé Acaron, director of AARP Puerto Rico, speaks before the Puerto Rico Complete Streets Congress. Photo by AARP Puerto Rico, via Facebook.

The first-ever Puerto Rico Complete Streets Congress for Professionals, presented by AARP Puerto Rico on October 3, convened 160 transportation, public health, and other community leaders who want to elevate Complete Streets policies and strategies across the island.

Covering topics ranging from the benefits of Complete Streets to best practices in implementation to design guidance, the event was featured insights from Complete Streets workshops instructor Paul Zykofsky; Ana Rius, Secretary of Health Department for Puerto Rico; Miguel Torres, Secretary of Transportation and Public Works for Puerto Rico; Zaki Mustafa, past present of Institute of Transportation Engineers, a National Complete Streets Coalition Steering Committee member; and long-time Complete Streets advocate Dan Burden.

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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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