This monthly newsletter issued by the National Complete Streets Coalition provides a roundup of news related to Complete Streets policies -- policies to ensure that the entire right of way is routinely designed and operated to enable safe access for all users. Please pass it around! And visit www.completestreets.org to stay informed.
COMPLETE STREETS POLICY PROGRESS
- Complete Streets: Coming Soon to New York State
- Moving Ahead in North Carolina
- Quick Takes: Policy Adoption
- Federal Policy Update
- Institute of Transportation Engineers Annual Meeting to Feature Complete Streets
- APBP Announces 2011 Professional Development Seminar on Complete Streets
- Complete Streets Workshops Making the Rounds
- SRAM Supports Coalition at Platinum Level
COMPLETE STREETS NEWS
- Criminally Incomplete Streets
- Complete Streets Highlighted in F as in Fat
- Partnership for Prevention Recommends Complete Streets Policies
- Quick Takes: Complete Streets Talk Across the Country
- TIGER Grants Available
- Access Board to Publish Proposed Rights-of-Way Guidelines on July 26
- Study: Get the Most from Your Infrastructure Dollar with Bike and Pedestrian Projects
- Cities with Bicycle Infrastructure Safer for All
- Making the Case for Investments in Walking
- Local Policy Guide for Active and Healthy Communities
- Webinar: Evaluating Accessibility
- Active Living Research Conference Seeks Abstracts, Award Nominations
- Research on Pedestrians Available
COMPLETE STREETS POLICY PROGRESS
Complete Streets: Coming Soon to New York State
In one of the highest profile legislative victories for the movement to date, both houses of the New York State legislature passed "Brittany's Law," a Complete Streets bill. Over 60 organizations worked together to campaign for the bill in Albany, finding champions in Senate Majority Leader Skelos, Assembly Speaker Silver, Senators Fuschillo and Dilan, and Assemblyman Gantt. The bill was passed in honor of Brittany Vega, who died while simply crossing a road on her way to school; her mother Sandi became one of the cause's most tireless advocates. The bill, passed in late June, awaits Governor Cuomo's signature.
Moving Ahead in North Carolina
The North Carolina Department of Transportation is taking the next steps in implementing its 2009 Complete Streets policy. New planning and design guidelines for use within the DOT, and for local communities working with the DOT, are partially drafted – and the DOT is looking for your input. Chapters on process, land use context, and design are available for review. Check them out and send in your thoughts via an online survey.
Quick Takes: Policy Adoption
- Cocoa, FL: Looking to provide residents with cleaner air, reduced congestion, and healthier lifestyle options, the City Council adopted a Complete Streets resolution (.pdf) on June 14. Cocoa is one of many jurisdictions in Brevard County to have stepped up in favor of Complete Streets in the past few months.
- Orange City, FL: Having attracted its share of big retailers – and their big parking lots – Orange City's new Complete Streets resolution (.pdf) is part of the community's efforts to emphasize a sustainable downtown core that allows for multiple transportation options. Supported by Mayor Harley Strickland, the policy was adopted by City Council on June 14. (Daytona Beach News-Journal)
- Blue Island, IL: With approval from City Council, Blue Island became the first suburban Chicago community to adopt a policy, and the first in the state to adopt an ordinance (.pdf). Blue Island's policy development was supported through its participation in the Communities Putting Prevention to Work program and through the work of local advocates at the Active Transportation Alliance; it also participated in a recent Complete Streets Policy Development Workshop.
- Battle Lake, MN: Supported by the City Clerk Wanda Berg-Vorgert, the City Engineer Jeremy Anderson, and the City Public Works director, Steve Seufert -- as well as local bicycle and health advocates -– a strong Complete Streets resolution (.pdf) is now in place for the community of Battle Lake in west central Minnesota. The 17th jurisdiction to adopt a policy in the state, Battle Lake is also quite possibly the smallest in the country to do so, with a population of 875 according the 2010 Census.
- Lewis, NY: The Town Board of this small town in the Adirondacks gave unanimous support to a Complete Streets resolution (.pdf) during their June 14 meeting. Supported by the Essex County Department of Health, the resolution, according to Town Supervisor and champion David Blades, will help kids get off the couch and give everyone more access to the outdoors. (Valley News)
- Camden, SC: Recipient of a TIGER grant to remake its Broad Street into a safer, multi-modal street, and participant in CDC's ACHIEVE program, the small town of about 7,000 now joins the list of over 250 communities with a Complete Streets policy (.pdf).
- Kingsport, TN: On June 21, the Mayor and Aldermen passed a resolution (.pdf) in support of Complete Streets. The community of just over 48,000 in northeastern Tennessee is part of the Pioneering Healthier Communities program and will soon be developing Complete Streets Guidelines.
- Edmonds, WA: On June 24, Mayor Mike Cooper signed Ordinance 3842 (.pdf) into law, making Complete Streets the standard for the community's transportation projects. Edmonds is already moving ahead with making changes on the ground, with a block-long project on Main Street. (Edmonds Patch)
Federal Policy Update
We are excited to announce that Safe and Complete Streets Act co-sponsors in both the House and the Senate continue to grow! We thank our new House co-sponsors: Rep. Mazie Hirono (HI-2), Rep. James Langevin (RI-2), Rep. John Lewis (GA-5), Rep. Betty McCollum (MN-4), and Rep. Albio Sires (NJ-13). We now count 15 Senate co-sponsors, and send thanks to Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) and Senator Bill Nelson (FL).
Please use our easy online tool to thank the Safe and Complete Street Act (H.R. 1780/S.1056) co-sponsors or to ask your Member of Congress to add their name as a co-sponsor. Federal transportation authorization talks are happening now, and including a Complete Streets policy will ensure safe travel for all users of all abilities.
Two weeks ago, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John Mica (FL-7) announced his outline for the pending federal transportation authorization bill. The outline does not include a Complete Streets policy or mention multi-modal transportation, cuts transportation spending, and eliminates several programs that have been key to realizing Complete Streets in communities nationwide. Reactions from Coalition Executive Director Barbara McCann and others, and an analysis of the proposed bill, can be found at Transportation for America's blog. An outline for the Senate's proposed transportation bill was released yesterday, and makes no mention of ensuring that transportation investments provide for the safety of all road users. The Coalition has submitted testimony for a hearing on the Senate bill being held this Thursday. Stay tuned to our blog for more on the Senate proposal.
Institute of Transportation Engineers Annual Meeting to Feature Complete Streets
The Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) will hold a workshop on Complete Streets and multimodal level of service at its Annual Meeting in St. Louis. The session, scheduled for Monday, August 15, will cover several Complete Streets themes, including delivering the Complete Streets message, needed tools for measuring and evaluating complete streets, and incorporating Complete Streets policies into the design process within a practical budgetary parameter.
APBP Announces 2011 Professional Development Seminar on Complete Streets
Developed by the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (APBP), this year's Professional Development Seminar will take place this October 24-27 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Three training tracks, covering design and implementation, research and standards, and livability and economic development, will prepare transportation processionals, advocates, and policymakers to meet their Complete Streets goals. Early bird registration extends now through September 14.
Complete Streets Workshops Making the Rounds
The summer of 2011 has been one of our busiest yet, as we worked with communities large and small to host our Complete Streets Workshops. In late June, instructors Michael Ronkin and Craig Williams visited Hastings, Nebraska, presenting at an open house event and following it up with a full-day workshop for local transportation practitioners and stakeholders. Around the same time, we had instructors in Western Pennsylvania to help lay the foundation for Complete Streets policies and in the Chicago region to help suburban communities begin writing their own policies. Just last week, Peter Lagerwey and Cynthia Hoyle led a community walk and a policy development workshop for an audience of rural communities in northwestern Washington State while two other instructors worked with Las Vegas, Nevada region. Coming soon: Wichita, Kansas, Portland, Maine, and Nashville, Tennessee. Want to bring a workshop to your community? Check out our website for details.
SRAM Supports Coalition at Platinum Level
SRAM, a leading supplier of components to the bike industry, is now a Platinum Partner in the Coalition. Established in Chicago in 1987, SRAM continues to promote cycling through its products, its advocacy, and its employees who are dedicated to improving the cycling experience. Today, SRAM employs more than 2,500 people in 15 offices across 8 countries.
The SRAM Cycling Fund supports advocacy for cycling infrastructure, access and safety in North America and Europe. So, it follows that SRAM champions Complete Streets as one of the most effective ways to achieve their vision for transformed street networks. The Fund's Director, Randy Neufeld, is a valuable contributor to the Coalition, leading workshops, speaking, and advising staff and local initiatives on management, fundraising, and political advocacy.
The SRAM Cycling Fund has supported projects that are closely aligned with the Complete Streets movement including the NACTO Urban Bikeway Design Guide; the Safe Routes to School National Partnership; and the Advocacy Advance campaign and grant program, jointly run by the Alliance for Biking and Walking and the League of American Bicyclists.
COMPLETE STREETS NEWS
Criminally Incomplete Streets
Sometimes we get a shocking reminder of why we are working for Complete Streets. That reminder comes this week in the vehicular homicide conviction delivered by a jury to a woman in Atlanta who lost her child to a hit-and-run driver who'd had several beers. Raquel Nelson, who did not have access to a car, had alighted at a bus stop across a five-lane highway from her home with her three children. Because she did not lug her small children over 1500 feet to the nearest designated crossing – following instead fellow bus riders crossing at the same time and place, hoping to get home – she is facing up to 36 months in jail.
Complete Streets Highlighted in F as in Fat
The newest release of the annual F as in Fat report from the Trust for America's Health notes the alarming pace of America's obesity crisis and focuses on six overarching policy priorities to bring our waistlines into check. Among the authors' recommended policy strategies are Complete Streets laws at the state and federal level to ensure that all citizens have safe options for active, healthy travel, such as walking and bicycling. They also note the economic benefit of building complete streets and highlight the work done in several communities, including Hernando, Mississippi.
Partnership for Prevention Recommends Complete Streets Policies
A new report put out by the Partnership for Prevention on transportation policy interventions for health talks about Complete Streets, but makes the common mistake of assuming that Complete Streets policies require a dedicated funding stream. Complete Streets policies are about ensuring that mainstream transportation programs and projects are inclusive of the needs of all users of the system, and help create activity-friendly environments without the necessity of identifying new dedicated funding. The report contains much other valuable information; find it at www.prevent.org/transportation.
Quick Takes: Complete Streets Talk Across the Country
- Redondo Beach, CA: A recent Associated Press article puts the spotlight on Dan Burden, long-time Complete Streets supporter and expert in walking and bicycling. Burden has traveled the country, helping communities see the potential of their streets. (ABC News)
- Hartford, CT: The Hartford Courant highlighted our recent Policy Analysis report's high rankings of the state's Complete Streets law and New Haven's design manual. The same article also notes the state's high number of pedestrian fatalities, as documented in Dangerous by Design. This prompted the editorial board to urge the Department of Transportation to make more on-the-ground changes to improve conditions for people on foot and on bike.
- Cleveland, OH: Coalition Executive Director Barbara McCann joined local radio program 'The Outspoken Cyclist' to discuss the Complete Streets movement, the Coalition's activities, and more. An archive of the weekly show is available online.
- Ann Arbor, MI: Three young Michiganders were recognized last month as "Advocates of the Year" by the Michigan Legislature, in honor of their work to promote Complete Streets. The three students, James Kleimola, 19; Conor Waterman, 10; and Katie Birchmeier, 10; all have a disability and want safe routes for bicycling so they can be mobile and independent. (AnnArbor.com)
- Minnesota: With more communities adopting Complete Streets policies every month, media in Minnesota is taking note. A Hopkins Patch article delves into what Complete Streets means to communities implementing policies, including local examples of design treatments. North St. Paul's combination of sustainable street features and with a multi-modal approach is getting attention from the Pioneer Press, which notes that the new street design paradigm will be safer and more environmentally friendly. The community shares the spotlight with a several others in the Twin Cities region in another piece from the Pioneer Press, which tracks the growth of Complete Streets movement in the region and some expected positive outcomes.
- Billings, MT: A split vote on the Billings Area Bikeway and Trail Master Plan demonstrated the need for additional Complete Streets outreach early this month. While the City Council and Planning Board supported a version of the plan with Complete Streets requirements, the County Commissions approved a version with all references to Complete Streets removed. (Big Sky Business)
- Glens Falls, NY: With grants from the New York State Department of Health, the Health Promotion Center of Glens Falls Hospital will work in two rural counties to support Complete Streets policy adoption. (Post-Star)
- South Carolina: The State Department of Transportation plans to spend $3.7 million across the state to improve curb ramps, crosswalks, and sidewalks so those using mobile aids -- or pushing strollers or pulling luggage -- will have better access to their destinations. (Independent Mail)
- Ranson, WV: The Obama Administration celebrated the first two years of the groundbreaking partnership between the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Environmental Protection Agency, and Department of Transportation and highlighted the Complete Streets work being done in Ranson to complement revitalization and redevelopment assistance from HUD and EPA.
TIGER Grants Available
The latest round of the hugely popular federal TIGER grant program is now accepting pre-applications. Nearly $527 million will be available on a competitive basis for road, rail, transit, and port projects that promise to achieve national objectives, strengthen the economy, and make communities more livable and sustainable. Past rounds of the TIGER program have funded many Complete Streets projects, including implementation work being done in St. Paul, Minnesota and a network of Complete Streets in a revitalizing area of Dubuque, Iowa. Pre-applications are due October 3, 2011. Additional information, including slides from a recent half-day seminar, is available at http://www.dot.gov/tiger/. A summary from the seminar is available from the League of American Bicyclists.
Access Board to Publish Proposed Rights-of-Way Guidelines on July 26
On July 26, the U.S. Access Board plans to publish proposed guidelines for accessible public rights-of-way. On that day, the guidelines will be posted on the Board's website and will be available for public comment for four months. The Board will conduct several events to present the proposed rule and to solicit comment, including a public briefing and press conference, a webinar, and hearings. For more information, visit http://www.access-board.gov/.
Study: Get the Most from Your Infrastructure Dollar with Bike and Pedestrian Projects
A new study from the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) at University of Massachusetts Amherst finds that bicycling and walking projects such as bicycle lanes and sidewalks create more jobs than road construction or repair projects that serve only automobile travel. This study expands on a case study of Baltimore released last December, now analyzing data from 11 cities nationwide. For each $1 million, the bicycling projects in the study created a total of 11.4 jobs within the state where the project is located. Pedestrian-only projects created an average of about 10 jobs per $1 million. The PERI reviewers attribute these outcomes to the fact that such work is more labor-intensive.
Cities with Bicycle Infrastructure Safer for All
A paper (.pdf) published in Environmental Practice compares California communities by the presence or absence of bicycle-friendly streets, and finds that those with more bike infrastructure have lower fatality rates for all road users. The paper explore why this may be the case.
Making the Case for Investments in Walking
Living Streets, a national non-profit based in England, has released a new report to illuminate the arguments and evidence for investing in the walking environment. The report includes several case studies from the United Kingdom and beyond.
Local Policy Guide for Active and Healthy Communities
The Safe Routes to School National Partnership recently released the Safe Routes to School Local Policy Guide, compiled to help local communities and schools create, enact and implement policies that will support active and healthy community environments. The Guide highlights strategies to advance policy change and covers more than 20 examples including Complete Streets, regional transportation plans, health impact assessments, speed limits, and more.
Webinar: Evaluating Accessibility
Easter Seals Project Action will host a free webinar on July 27 to help transportation providers, planners, and advocates assess the accessibility of the public spaces related to transportation, such as sidewalks, intersections, and transit facilities. Presenter Krystian Boreyko will help them understand common barriers, potential remedies, and the benefits to be gained from creating a barrier-free environment. Register online by July 22.
Active Living Research Conference Seeks Abstracts, Award Nominations
Active Living Research is calling for presentation and workshop abstracts and for award nominations for its 2012 Annual Conference. The conference theme will be "Disparities in Environments and Policies that Support Active Living," and organizes aim to engage experts from multiple disciplines in addressing the inequities seen in many communities throughout the nation where childhood obesity and inactivity are the highest. Abstracts for presentations and workshops are due by August 19, 2011. Nominations for the "Translating Research to Policy" award are due August 26.
Research on Pedestrians Available
The annual compilation of articles on topics related to designing for pedestrians is available from the Transportation Research Board. This year's edition includes information on incorporating bicycle and pedestrian topics in university transportation courses; high-visibility school crosswalks; the effect of street network design on walking and biking; and many more topics.
"Having streets that are safer for pedestrians, and bicyclists, too, is not some ivory-tower dream of automobile-haters…Increasing pedestrian and bicycle traffic makes a city more livable, and hence more attractive and viable. Getting from here to there without being wrapped in a ton of steel and plastic creates a much more social environment."
— Hartford Courant Editorial Board
"While these things benefit people who want to bike and walk, it has a lot of benefits for the community beyond that. It does a lot for public health, it does a lot for the aesthetic value of the community. It creates a better place to live, it increases property value."
– Brian Ludicke, city planning director, Lancaster, California
"If you ever saw someone in a wheelchair going down a busy lane of traffic, it scares you to death. You can see their vulnerability."
– Rhonda Frisby, of the Anderson, South Carolina chapter of the Physically Handicapped Society
Thank you to our Partners: