- CA Complete Streets Act Passes Legislature
- Countywide Complete Streets Goal in California
- Completing the Streets in Colorado
- New Haven, CT Advancing Complete Streets
- Federal Policy Update
- Complete Streets at Pro Walk Pro Bike
- Designing Streets for Pedestrians and Bicyclists Joins as Gold Partner
- Bike-Friendly States Ranking
- New Campaign Director at America Bikes
- Work for Complete Streets
- Transportation Officials Support Complete Streets
- Federal Transportation Briefing in Sacramento
- Safer Streets Needed in Quad Cities
- Advocating Livable Streets in Louisiana
- Bike Lane Dispute in Lee County, FL
- Schools Struggle with Cost of Bus Fuel; Others Fight Back, Promote Walking, Biking
- Transit and Bikeway Accessibility Replace Freeway Access for Home Buyers
- Complete Streets Featured on StreetsBlog
- Ten-Year-Old Struck on an Incomplete Street
- Updated Complete Streets Fact Sheets
- ADA Sidewalk and Curb Ramp Inventory System
- Methods for Calculating Non-Auto Mode Travel Times
COMPLETE STREETS POLICY PROGRESS
CA Complete Streets Act Passes Legislature
The State of California is one step away from a statewide complete streets policy. The Complete Streets Act (Assembly Bill 1358), introduced by Assemblyman Mark Leno, was approved 24-14 by the State Senate on August 27. The bill then passed out of the Legislature on a 47-29 vote in the Assembly; it is ready for Governor Schwarzenegger's desk. Sponsored by the California Bicycle Coalition and AARP, and supported by a host of other groups, the bill requires cities and counties to include complete streets policies as part of their comprehensive plans so that roadways are designed to safely accommodate all users, including bicyclists, pedestrians, transit riders, children, older people, and disabled people, as well as motorists. Read the bill (pdf) and check in with the California Bicycle Coalition for follow-up action.
Countywide Complete Streets Goal in California
Marin County, located in the north San Francisco Bay Area, is home to host of complete streets policies. In addition to boasting a countywide policy, three municipalities within the county - the City of Novato and the Towns of Fairfax and San Anselmo - have adopted complete streets resolutions. But it doesn't stop there! In conjunction with the Transportation Authority of Marin's current Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan update process, the Marin County Bicycle Coalition is working with local Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committees to introduce and advocate for the adoption of complete streets resolutions in every town or city. To date, every municipality that has adopted an updated Plan has also passed a Complete Streets Resolution. You can read all the policies online: County of Marin, Novato, Fairfax, and San Anselmo (all files are in pdf format).
Completing the Streets in Colorado
Although both the City of Durango and La Plata County have had policies that support complete streets for a time now, we're just hearing about it! Jointly developed by the City of Durango and La Plata County, the Transportation Element of the Comprehensive Plan Update for Durango seeks to meet the mobility needs of current and future residents, visitors, and employees through a sustainable transportation system that provides a choice of affordable and accessible alternate modes. The County of La Plata passed a resolution (pdf) towards achieving complete streets in July of 2007. The resolution formally supports a bicycle, pedestrian, and motorist inventory done by the Safe Roads Coalition of La Plata County and requests a "balanced, responsible, and equitable approach" in planning and developing roads to meet the recommendations of that inventory.
New Haven, CT Advancing Complete Streets
Frustrated by unruly traffic with little regard for pedestrians and bicyclists, City of New Haven, CT aldermen Erin Sturgis-Pascale and Roland Lemar have proposed an ordinance to fight back. The current proposal calls for the formation of a Complete Streets Steering Committee charged with the task of developing and implementing a complete streets policy through public participation, educational campaigns, and creation of a design manual. The proposal was introduced to the Board of Alderman on September 2 and will be the subject of a public hearing on September 22. Read more in the New Haven Register and in the New Haven Independent.
Federal Policy Update
Several congressional members returned from recess with complete streets on their minds. Senator Carl Levin of Michigan signed on to S. 2686 on Monday, bringing the total cosponsors up to five, and the house bill (HR 5951) is up to 18 co-sponsors. The five representatives who signed on this week were Rep. Lewis of GA, Rep. Bordallo of Guam, Rep. Braley of IA, Rep. Stark of CA, and Rep. Lipinski of IL. Encourage your Representative and Senators to sign on via our action page where you can send a personalized letter asking your Members of Congress to support the federal complete streets legislation.
Complete Streets at Pro Walk Pro Bike
Complete Streets had a strong presence at the Pro-Walk Pro-Bike Conference in Seattle last week. The conference, sponsored by the National Center for Bicycling and Walking (a Coalition Steering Committee member), featured a half-dozen sessions on complete streets, including a mobile workshop highlighting the results of Seattle's complete streets policy. Coalition partners, including the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals, Alta Planning and Design, and Bikes Belong, were also a big part of the conference.
Designing Streets for Pedestrians & Bicyclists Joins as Gold Partner
Michael Ronkin, the Principal of Designing Streets for Pedestrians and Bicyclists, steps up to Gold Partner status in the National Complete Streets Coalition, due to his unflagging work in support of the Coalition's Local Implementation Assistance Program. Michael has helped craft, train, and teach our series of daylong Complete Streets Workshops, with most of his work done pro-bono. Michael has had a long association with the Coalition, serving as the APBP's representative on the Steering Committee, and contributing to many meetings and reports aimed at advancing the complete streets concept. While head of the State of Oregon's Bicycle-Pedestrian program, he presided over implementation of the nation's first statewide complete streets policy. His firm now offers planning, training, and speaking on all things bike and ped.
Join our growing Partner program! Partnerships fund media campaigns, resource materials, local implementation, special projects, and more. Check out more information on how to join on our website.
Bike-Friendly States Ranking
The League of American Bicyclists announced its first ranking of Bicycle Friendly States this week. Every state was evaluated on more than 70 factors in six key categories: legislation; policies and programs; infrastructure; education and encouragement; evaluation and planning; and enforcement. Coming out on top were Washington, Wisconsin, Arizona, Oregon, and Minnesota. Frequently cited among bicycle friendly factors were complete streets policies, or lack thereof. Details on how each state ranked can be found on an interactive map. The rankings are part of a new Bicycle Friendly State program, to which states may apply for award recognition; the program is similar to the popular Bicycle Friendly Community program already run by the League.
New Campaign Director at America Bikes
America Bikes recently announced Caron Whitaker as the new Campaign Director. She comes to America Bikes from the National Wildlife Federation, where she served as Director of Community Engagement. She also has a background in smart growth and holds a Master's Degree in environmental management from Duke University. She will coordinate the efforts of America Bikes over the next several years, as the federal transportation legislation progresses and serve on the Complete Streets Steering Committee. Welcome, Caron!
Work for Complete Streets!
The Coalitions is seeking a Complete Streets Fellow to help advance federal policy efforts by moving coalition members and partners to action and coordinating the federal policy efforts of the complete streets network. This is a great opportunity for a candidate with a lot of initiative to take on significant responsibility while learning about transportation reform issues and working directly with a variety of well-known leaders and organizations in the field. Read more about the position and how to apply on the online announcement.
COMPLETE STREETS NEWS
Transportation Officials Support Complete Streets
The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) (http://www.nacto.org/) released its position paper on next year's authorization of the national transportation bill. As part of its goal to lead the country in combating energy dependence and climate change, NACTO calls for a federal Complete Streets program. Such a program would include "dedicated, streamlined funding and a strong mandate" for a safe environment for people to drive, walk, or bicycle. For more, please read the full text (pdf).
Federal Transportation Briefing in Sacramento
Senator Barbara Boxer, Chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, met with community leaders and state government officials in California recently before returning to Washington. Senator Boxer is leading the development of the Senate's version of the new transportation bill, titled Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) and is soliciting input from a range of sources regarding the bill. The Sacramento meeting emphasized the priorities of the state of California, including congestion, air quality, and new funding sources. Senator Boxer's full statement, as well as testimonies from those in attendance, are available on the EPW website.
Safer Streets Needed in Quad Cities
Richard Pokora's mile and a half commute on his bicycle is often so perilous, it compelled him to advocate for safer streets at a recent City Council meeting in Bettendorf IA. Several aldermen expressed their support and City Administrator Decker Ploehn revealed that Bettendorf and the other Quad Cities will soon consider adoption of resolutions in support of complete streets. Read more in the Quad-City Times.
Advocating Livable Communities in Louisiana
A Baton Rouge Business Report article last month highlights the growing need for livable communities, especially for older adults. Kathryn Lawler, with AARP Louisiana, impressed the impending failure of the standard development pattern, where transportation is difficult without a car, in coming years. Elinor Ginzler, senior vice president of livable community strategies for AARP, echoes that sentiment, adding that the creation of communities that "meet the needs of the older population…[meet] the needs of all populations." By doing so, older Americans will not be forced out of their neighborhoods and communities due to lack of mobility, access to health care, and few housing options.
Bike Lane Dispute in Lee County, FL
According to the Naples Daily News, bicycling advocates and transportation officials in Lee County, FL are at odds over what could be 250 feet of bike lanes. Advocates want the paved shoulders of county roads to be officially designated as bike lanes; among other things, this would require the County to be responsible for regular maintenance and street sweeping - the costs of which, officials maintain, are too high. That money, they say, could be better spent on other projects: ones that advance a complete streets policy of safe access for everyone, including motorists, pedestrians, and buses, as well as bikes. While County Commissioners have agreed to defer to the Smart Growth Committee for debate, a Naples Daily News editorial supports the designation and gradual implementation of the bike lanes.
Schools Struggle with Cost of Bus Fuel; Others Fight Back, Promote Walking, Biking
Across the country, school districts are facing budgetary woes as they confront rising costs to fuel their bus fleets. Some schools are scaling back busing; but, as an AP article highlights, the shift is not easy for many students, parents, and community members. Though many students will walk or bike to school, many school districts lack the infrastructure necessary for safe and convenient travel for pedestrians and bicyclists: crosswalks, sidewalks, and bike racks. An article in USA Today on the movement to improve school access for non-motorists also notes the efforts of Rep. Earl Blumenauer to expand federal Safe Routes to School funding to high schools.
Transit and Bikeway Accessibility Replace Freeway Access for Home Buyers
According to the Oregonian, realtors in Portland, OR are noting increased interest in bikeable and transit accessible homes. Neighborhoods nearer the metro center, and thus convenient for transit and bicycling, saw relatively stable home prices, while prices in more suburban locations dropped. Realtor Kirsten Kaufman has even organized bicycle tours of available properties, and frequently underscores nearby transit and bike options and the walkability of the neighborhood.
Complete Streets Featured on StreetsBlog
As part of a weekly series highlighting particularly relevant and well-written contributions to its online, community-created encyclopedia of sustainable urban policies, StreetsBlog featured the entry on Complete Streets. Authored by Andy Hamilton of WalkSanDiego and America Walks, the Complete Streets article supplies a wide range of information on complete streets, from an overview of why they are important to implementation methods. Think the article is missing something? Sign up for an account at StreetsBlog's Livable Streets Network and contribute your thoughts.
Ten-Year-Old Struck on an Incomplete Street
After being caught at a narrow median in Queens, NY, a ten-year-old cyclist was struck by a car while trying to navigate toward the opposite curb. The boy underwent extensive surgery for massive head wounds; his current condition is unknown. The NY Daily News story quotes community members who note the treacherously wide intersection, which has been the site of several crashes in recent years.
Updated Complete Streets Fact Sheets
Two of our fact sheets have been updated with new research this month: Complete Streets and Older Americans and Safety Benefits of Complete Streets. While they are not live yet, you will soon find them on our Benefits page. Share them at public meetings, with elected officials, and spread the word on how complete streets can help improve communities for older Americans and create safer streets for everyone.
ADA Sidewalk and Curb Ramp Inventory System
The City of Bellevue, WA is conducting a comprehensive survey of its sidewalks and curb ramps as part of its effort to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The city is using a modified Segway human transporter to conduct the survey, which will evaluate over 300 miles of sidewalks and curb ramps to determine where improvements should be made. More about the survey and its methods are available in a report (pdf) prepared for National Cooperative Highway Research Program.
Methods for Calculating Non-Auto Mode Travel Times
A June 2007 report, Access to Destinations: Refining Methods for Calculating Non-Auto Travel Times (pdf), published by the Minnesota Department of Transportation, investigated methods for calculating travel times by non-auto modes, including walking, bicycling and public transit. Specific methods for each non-auto mode allow application in a real-world urban setting. Outputs generated by the research can be also be linked to land use and changes can be tracked over time. (via CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.)
"We're talking about shifting a paradigm. We have to hit this with a ton of bricks now, or the aging population will be upon us and we're going to be scrambling to pull things together. We have a pretty limited window in which to make major, major changes in how we develop communities."
- Kathryn Lawler, AARP Louisiana consultant, in the Baton Rouge Business Report
"Ordinary people ought to be able to make short trips on a bicycle within their community."
- Richard Pokora, Bettendorf IA, in the Quad-City Times