- Des Moines Passes Resolution
- Downtown in Motion Plan Embraces Complete Streets
- Federal Policy Update
- Complete Streets Speaks!
- Save Energy Through Complete Streets
- Parks & Recreation and Complete Streets
- Coalition Submits Testimony to House; American Voters Echo Sentiments
- Death Draws Support for Complete Streets
- Streetsfilms Feature Sadik-Khan & NYC's Complete Streets Plans
- Many Dangerous Roads in NYC Metro Are Incomplete
- Bike Ridership Up in 2008
- Slow Home Report Focuses on Coalition
- TV Series Covers Complete Streets in CA
- CNU Focused on Moving People
- Rails-to-Trails Quantifies Benefits of Bicycling and Walking
- Multi-Modal Transportation Planning
- 'Shared Space' Comes to America
- Dan Burden Lecture Online
COMPLETE STREETS POLICY PROGRESS
Des Moines Passes Resolution
The Des Moines, IA City Council passed a complete streets resolution 6-1 on September 22. Des Moines wisely views transportation projects as long-term investments, directing new transportation projects to accommodate all current users while also anticipating future demand for transit, bicycling, and walking facilities. The new policy establishes a committee to recommend complete streets elements for each project and gives special attention to pedestrians and bicyclists traveling across corridors safely and conveniently. Check out the full text (pdf) and coverage from the Iowa Bike Blog.
Downtown in Motion Plan Embraces Complete Streets
A new downtown plan for Salt Lake City intends to improve the vitality of its commercial center by shifting focus from automobiles accommodating to multi-modal traffic needs. Downtown in Motion follows the complete streets policy (pdf) enacted by then Mayor Rocky Anderson in January of last year. It emphasizes pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit users through an enhanced walkway network with mid-block crosswalks, lower speed limits, appealing streetscapes, expansion of the light-rail system, and color-coded, "branded" bus routes. A draft of the adopted plan is available online and more information can be found in the Salt Lake Tribune.
Federal Policy Update
This historic election signals an exciting time for the Coalition. We are geared up to work with the new Administration and new members of Congress as we gain support for complete streets in the upcoming transportation bill. Many of complete streets congressional supporters won their bids for reelection; unfortunately, we have lost one of our bill co-sponsors in the House, Representative Chris Shays (R-CT). We extend our deepest gratitude to Rep. Shays for his 21 years of service and support of complete streets. In Minnesota, the Senate race between incumbent and complete streets co-sponsor Norm Coleman (R) and challenger Al Franken (D) is too close to call and is currently in a recount.
Complete Streets Speaks!
Complete streets presentations and materials are making the rounds! We've had representation at several great conferences, including the American Public Transportation Association Annual Meeting, the American Society of Landscape Architects Annual Meeting and Expo, and Rail~Volution 2008. In the coming days, complete streets will be represented at 1000 Friends of Connecticut's Statewide Smart Growth Conference and the 2008 Congress of Cities and Exposition. Barbara McCann and renowned engineer Walter Kulash are delivering a two-day complete streets workshop for the American Planning Association's Planners Training Service in Atlanta, GA at the end of this week. On November 19, LISC is sponsoring a webcast about Complete Streets and Safe Routes to School. Margo Pedroso, of Safe Routes to School National Partnership, and Barbara McCann will be participating. For more information, including system requirements, check LISC's events website.
Save Energy Through Complete Streets
The Alliance to Save Energy, a non-profit coalition of business, government, environmental and consumer leaders, urged President-Elect Obama to make sustainable energy a key priority when he takes office in January. The Alliance advises the new administration to include energy efficiency as "a cornerstone of any economic stimulus package" through, among other initiatives, dedicating transportation infrastructure funding to public transportation and complete streets.
Parks & Recreation and Complete Streets
In the November 2008 issue of Parks and Recreation, the National Recreation and Parks Association looks at the importance of the nation's surface transportation program. NRPA outlines its position on the upcoming transportation bill reauthorization and features complete streets, urging advocates to ask lawmakers for complete streets. The November issue will be available online soon.
Coalition Submits Testimony to House; American Voters Echo Sentiments
On October 29, both the Ways and Means and Transportation and Infrastructure committees in the House heard testimony that detailed strategies for aiding the economic recovery of the nation. The National Complete Streets Coalition submitted testimony (pdf) describing how ready-to-build, complete streets projects not only create jobs, but also provide Americans with less expensive transportation choices. Echoing this sentiment, on November 4, Americans voted for and passed, 23 initiatives that provide over $75 billion for transportation systems, including a high-speed rail network in California and an expanded mass-transit service in Seattle.
COMPLETE STREETS NEWS
Death Draws Support for Complete Streets
According to a report in the Detroit Free Press, Jacqueline Robinson, a single mother of two from Detroit, MI, was fatally struck by a car while biking to work. She depended on her bicycle for mobility, as do many in the area, and her 13-mile route to work brought her along a multilane road with a speed limit of 45 mph. The street was not designed with bicyclists in mind and, despite the relatively low traffic at the time of her commute, could not provide her a safe space to bike. The Daily Tribune reports residents of the City of Royal Oak, where Ms. Robinson died, have banded together to request the City Commission adopt a complete streets plan. At Monday's City Commission meeting, residents pointed out the long-term savings of multi-modal transportation and the urgent need to curb pedestrian and bicyclist crashes on its streets. According to the Royal Oak Mirror, Mayor Jim Ellison and the City Commissioners were impressed with the presentation and have asked advocates to form a task group and draft a non-motorized plan for the City.
Streetfilms Feature Sadik-Khan & NYC's Complete Streets Plans
New York City's Department of Transportation, Janette Sadik-Kahn, speaks with Mark Gorton, Executive Director of The Open Planning Project, in this recent video. The two discuss how NYC has been making its streets friendlier to bicyclists, pedestrians, and transit users. They also visit several project sites where pedestrian plazas, new bus priority lanes, and additional bicycle lanes have changed the way residents use the streets.
Many Dangerous Roads in NYC Metro Are Incomplete
A recent study done by the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, using recently released data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), determined which routes within each county of the metro NY/NJ/CT area had the highest number of pedestrian fatalities over the three-year period from 2005 to 2007. The analysis, which excluded Interstates and other roads where pedestrians are prohibited, found that many of the most dangerous streets were those dotted with retail destinations but designed exclusively for fast-moving car traffic. The list of the most dangerous roads for walking is available in the report's press release, and detailed county-by-county information is also available.
Bike Ridership Up in 2008
Two reports came out this month from two cities who are getting it right with complete streets. The New York Times reports New York City has seen its commuter cycling up 35% between 2007 and 2008, corresponding with the 140 miles of on-street bike lanes added in the last year. Read the full report (pdf) for more. On the West Coast the percentage of people who use a bicycle as their primary transportation when commuting in Portland, OR is at 8% - up from 6% in 2007 and 3% in 1997, when the survey first began. Furthermore, an additional 10% of respondents stated that a bicycle was their secondary mode of transportation when commuting and overall bicycle traffic has increased 190% since 2000/2001. The full report will be released in the coming weeks. (via Bike Portland)
Slow Home Report Focuses on Coalition
The National Complete Streets Coalition was recently profiled on the Slow Home Report, a site run by John Brown, a registered architect, real estate broker and Professor of Architecture at the University of Calgary. Brown offers a good summary of complete streets and highlights the efforts of Boulder, CO, a Coalition Steering Committee Member. Complete Streets is also tied to his own Slow Home cause, which stresses the importance of walkable neighborhoods and environmentally friendly homes that fit their residents' lives.
TV Series Covers Complete Streets in CA
This episode of Perils for Pedestrians, a monthly television series, interviews several people key to the introduction and adoption of the State of California's complete streets bill. Included in the interviews are insights from Sacramento Air Quality Management District's Chris Morfas, California Bicycle Coalition Lobbyist Justin Fanslau, Stephan Vance of CBC's Board of Directors, League of American Bicyclists Executive Director Andy Clarke, and Deb Hubsmith, the Advocacy Director of Marin County Bicycle Coalition. Though the video is a bit outdated - it was filmed prior to the bill's passing - it provides lots of information on complete streets and how advocates were able to successfully get a statewide law.
CNU Focused on Moving People
In its 2008 Transportation Summit, the Congress for the New Urbanism focused on expertise of many designers, planners, and engineers in implementing sustainable transportation projects. The Summit took place in Charlotte, NC, a city that has adopted complete streets in the design, planning, and construction of its transportation infrastructure. The attendees heard presentations, worked in small groups, and hit the streets for inspiration and expertise in shifting the dialog from moving cars to moving people, regardless of mode.
Rails-to-Trails Quanitifes Benefits of Bicycling and Walking
The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy presented its "Active Transportation for America" to Congress late last month. The report, for the first time, quantifies national benefits expected with increased funding for bicycling and walking infrastructure. The proven benefits and economic values relate to four key areas: transportation, oil dependence, climate change, and public health. The analysis concludes that modest increases in bicycling and walking could lead to an annual reduction of 70 billion miles of automobile travel. More substantial increases could lead to the avoidance of 200 billion miles per year. The televised press release conference also features remarks from Rep. James Oberstar (D-MN), Chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
Multi-Modal Transportation Planning
The Victoria Transport Policy Institute has released a short paper (pdf) summarizing basic principles for transportation planning. It first discusses conventional planning that focuses on automobiles and the ways in which other transportation modes - bicycling, walking, and transit - are overlooked, despite their presence most everywhere. An overview of newer methods for multi-modal planning and evaluation is then provided.
'Shared Space' in America
The October/Novemeber issue of the New Urban News features an article on the growing 'shared space' movement. These multi-purpose roadway environments have been successfully implemented in Europe and are gaining traction in American cities. Examples from Santa Monica, CA, San Francisco, CA, Cambridge, MA, and Buena Vista, CO detail how distinctive design will allow streets in these cities to safely remove separation between motorists and pedestrians.
Dan Burden Lecture Online
A recent lecture given by bicycle and pedestrian expert Dan Burden is available online. He focuses on sustainable transportation solutions, drawing upon examples from Vancouver, BC, and sits down for a Q&A session with his host in San Jose, CA. The full program is about an hour, but can be watched in chapters, including one on complete streets. (via NRDC's Switchboard blog)
"Cities the world over teach us that a successful and sustainable urban core relies on a robust transit system and careful attention to the needs of pedestrians and cyclists. Downtown in Motion establishes ambitious goals for improving transit, bicycle, and pedestrian facilities that will make downtown Salt Lake City more accessible to all modes of travel, thereby enhancing the city's vitality for generations to come."
- Mayor Ralph Becker, Salt Lake City, UT in Downtown in Motion
"It's difficult to ride your bike to the zoo when it shouldn't be. Royal Oak spends so much on parking. If we increased the number of people riding bicycles in the city we'd save money."
- Todd Scott, Royal Oak Traffic Committee, Royal Oak, MI, in the Daily Tribune
Correction: Our October issue incorrectly identified Greenville and Easley as cities in North Carolina. They are in South Carolina.