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 in the Nation’s Capital
- Nashville Mayor Signs Executive Order
- Brookhaven, NY Adopts Sustainable Complete Streets Policy
- Two More in Michigan: Saline and Berkley
- Byron Becomes Seventh in Minnesota to Adopt Policy
- Quick Takes: Policy Progress
- Federal Policy Update
- TIGER II Grants Awarded
- Innovation at the APTA Annual Meeting: Bus/Bike Summit, Urban Design Standards
- John LaPlante Calls for Multimodalism in Lifetime Achievement Award
- Gresham, Smith and Partners Upgrade to Silver Partners
- President’s Infrastructure Push is Critical to Complete Streets
- Pedestrian Death Prompts New Infrastructure in Chaska, MN
- International Walk to School Day Sheds Light on Need for Complete Streets
- Quick Takes: Complete Streets Talk Across the Country
- Incomplete Streets Death: Khardiatou Goloko
- New Fact Sheet: Complete Streets in Rural Communities
- New Report Reveals Time Spent in Traffic Due to Sprawl
- A Heavy Burden: Report Unveils Individual Cost of Obesity
- Webinar Series: Environmental and Policy Change for Healthy Aging
- Demonstration Complete Streets Project in Fort Worth, TX
- Smart Mobility for a 21st Century America
COMPLETE STREETS POLICY PROGRESS
Complete Streets in the Nation’s Capital
On Monday, the District of Columbia formally adopted Complete Streets as its guiding policy for transportation projects. The policy (.pdf), issued by District Department of Transportation Director Gabe Klein and effective immediately, establishes a vision for all transportation and other public space projects to “accommodate and balance the choice, safety, and convenience of all users of the transportation system.” The District, which has been moving in this direction for a few years, has much to gain from a Complete Streets approach: nearly 40% of residents (and a higher percentage in low-income neighborhoods) live without automobiles, relying on their feet, bikes, and public transportation to get to work, school, shops, and community destinations. The newly signed policy will ensure efforts to make a more livable District through improved transportation options stick around. Local advocates at the Washington Area Bicyclist Association are asking residents to thank Director Klein for his leadership.
Nashville Mayor Signs Executive Order
Mayor Karl Dean stepped up Nashville’s efforts to make their streets safe and comfortable for all users on October 6, issuing an Executive Order (.pdf) to formalize a Complete Streets approach in the city. "It’s important for the health of our citizens and for our city’s long-term sustainability," Dean said of the policy. In addition to the new formal policy, Mayor Dean has shown true commitment to Complete Streets through the city’s budget, which dedicates nearly 60% of its local transportation dollars on walking, bicycling, and public transportation infrastructure.
Brookhaven, NY Adopts Sustainable Complete Streets Policy
On September 20, the Town of Brookhaven became the third municipality on Long Island to adopt a Complete Streets policy. Resolution No. 2010-993 (.pdf), championed by Councilwoman Connie Kepert, establishes a "Sustainable Complete Streets Policy" to "provide for the needs of drivers, public transportation vehicles and patrons, bicyclists, and pedestrians of all ages and abilities" in the town's transportation projects. "This legislation will ensure a safer environment for pedestrians and will expand recreational opportunities for our residents," said Supervisor Mark Lesko.
Two More in Michigan: Saline and Berkley
A Complete Streets ordinance (.pdf) was unanimously adopted by the Saline City Council on September 23. The changes to city code now mandate that the city “plan for, design, and construct all transportation improvement projects, both new and retrofit activities, to provide appropriate accommodation for bicyclists, pedestrian, transit users, and persons of all ages and abilities.” Six exceptions to this policy are established. Saline, population 8,000, is in Washtenaw County, which has a Complete Streets policy in the form of its Non-Motorized Plan. In another unanimous victory, the Berkley City Council adopted a Complete Streets resolution (.pdf) on October 4. Their new resolution directs the Planning Commission to prepare an amendment to the city’s master plan to update and expand on the plan’s multimodal transportation section. Berkley is a suburb of Detroit and home to 15,000.
Byron Becomes Seventh in Minnesota to Adopt Policy
A new resolution in Byron, MN (.pdf) will enhance the safety, access, convenience, and comfort of the city’s transportation network for all users of all ages and abilities. Adopted on October 13, the resolution is comprehensive in scope, applying to all roadway projects with specific exceptions and offering ways to prioritize projects that best complete the network for all users. Byron, a city of approximately 5,000, is in southeastern Minnesota’s Olmsted County.
Quick Takes: Policy Progress
- Connecticut: Connecticut’s statewide Complete Streets law officially went into full effect on October, 1, 2010. Connecticut’s Department of Transportation must now devote at least 1% of all funding to bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure and produce annual reports on their progress in making walking, bicycling, and taking public transportation more accessible options.
- Michigan: The state’s transportation budget, adopted in late September, gives funding preference to communities with Complete Streets policies and to projects that further the objectives of Complete Streets. In doing so, more local communities may be encouraged to adopt their own policies.
- East Lansing, MI: After holding a public forum on Complete Streets on October 6, the City of East Lansing has opened an online survey for residents to provide input on proposed language.
- Jackson, MI: A recent training session will help local elected officials and transportation professionals implement the Complete Streets resolutions passed at the city, county, and regional level. (Jackson Citizen Patriot)
- Helena, MT: The Non-Motorized Travel Advisory Council presented a draft ordinance to the City Commission. Bike Walk Helena is providing a sample letter for residents to show their support for Complete Streets.
- Fargo, ND: The Fargo-Moorhead Metropolitan Council of Governments was presented with a draft Complete Streets policy that will guide local and state officials and decision makers in creating streets that are safe for all users. Representatives from the Fargo-Moorhead Metropolitan COG attended a Complete Streets Workshop last year.
- Hendersonville, TN: The City’s Land Use and Transportation Plan, source of the city’s Complete Streets policy, won the Local Government Award for Excellence in Planning from the 10-county Greater Nashville Regional Council. The plan was written in consultation with Coalition Partner firm Kimley-Horn and Associates. (Hendersonville Star News)
- La Crosse, WI: At an October 7 meeting, City Council heard an introductory presentation on Complete Streets. The Driftless Region Bicycle Coalition, local advocates for Complete Streets, will work with Council members and city staff in the coming month to develop a draft resolution.
Federal Policy Update
We are very excited to announce the Complete Streets Act of 2009 is now bipartisan in the House, with Representative Steve LaTourette [OH-14] joining the bill’s 60 existing cosponsors. Local advocates from Walk+Roll Cleveland worked with Mr. LaTourette to bring him on board. If you live in Mr. LaTourette’s district, please send a thank you with our quick and easy action page. If your members of Congress haven't cosponsored yet, please make sure you tell them to support Complete Streets. And if they've already signed on, send your thanks!
TIGER II Grants Awarded
The Department of Transportation just announced the recipients of its $600 million TIGER II competitive grant program. Applicants were scored using merit-based evaluation criteria that allowed the U.S. DOT to address challenges of national importance. Unsurprisingly, many Complete Streets projects across the country will be funded. Our blog post has more details. Just like the first round of TIGER grants awarded earlier this year, demand far outpaced supply. U.S. DOT received nearly 1,000 construction grant applications totaling more than $19 billion for the $600 million in available funds - a ratio of $1 to $30. The success of the TIGER Program shows the thirst for a new approach to transportation and echoes President Obama's recently announced infrastructure initiative.
Innovation at the APTA Annual Meeting: Bus/Bike Summit, Urban Design Standards
The American Public Transportation Association hosted a “Transit – Bicycle Partnerships Summit” as part of its Annual meeting in San Antonio October 6th. Transit agency officials and bicycle advocates met to discuss their common interest in creating sustainable, livable communities, and to work toward resolving 'first mile' and 'last mile' issues around access to transit for bicycles. The partnership idea was born out of the interaction between APTA and bicycle organizations as they have worked together on the National Complete Streets Coalition.
The meeting also featured progress by an APTA committee that is working to address the need for urban street design standards that work well for public transportation, as well as reports on transit agencies that are branching out into 'mobility management' – helping people complete their trips through a variety of modes and means.
John LaPlante Calls for Multimodalism in Lifetime Achievement Award
John LaPlante, member of the National Complete Streets Steering Committee, received the prestigious Theodore M. Matson Memorial Award from the Institute of Transportation Engineers for lifetime achievement in transportation engineering. As part of the award, he makes a blunt and humorous call for a fundamental change in the treatment of bicyclists and pedestrians in a short paper published in the latest issue of the ITE Journal, “The Challenge of Multimodalism” (.pdf). John has been involved from the beginning in the development of the Complete Streets approach, and also serves as a Workshop Instructor. Congratulations, John!
Gresham, Smith and Partners Upgrade to Silver Partners
The Coalition is delighted to announce that Gresham, Smith and Partners (GS&P) recently upgraded from the Bronze to the Silver Partnership level. GS&P is a dedicated Partner in the movement for Complete Streets. Marshall Elizer, Executive Vice President of Transportation for GS&P talked to us about the benefits of being a Coalition Partner, particularly how it keeps them up to date on the latest best practices in Complete Streets: “We hear how the concept is being advanced in different areas of the nation. I don’t know of a better source to keep up with that information.” Elizer went on to illuminate his own commitment to the Complete Streets, stating “I want to be a Complete Streets advocate in my engineering profession and help my peers learn how to best address the needs of all non-motorized roadway users. The Coalition gives me information I can tap into. When I receive an update, I share it not just with the engineers in my firm but also with our planners, urban designers and architects.” Elizer is also active with the American Public Works Association, which joined the Coalition last month.
We’re also excited to announce new Silver Partner T.Y. Lin International and new Bronze Partner Urban Engineers, Inc. Look for more information on these firms in upcoming newsletters. Not a Coalition Partner yet? Join Marshall and our other Partners in making complete streets a reality across America.
COMPLETE STREETS NEWS
President’s Infrastructure Push is Critical to Complete Streets
Complete Streets is a policy initiative: it is about using existing, mainstream transportation funds differently. Recently, President Obama and his administration are showing us the way toward mainstream transportation programs that take all users of the transportation system into account. The Council of Economic Advisers’ report on infrastructure investment (.pdf), released in conjunction with the President’s recent statements in favor of a new six-year federal transportation bill, makes an eloquent argument for the economic benefits of investments that expand transportation choices and makes awards based on project merit. And the team at the USDOT is coming up with some interesting ways to do that. Read more about these first steps to create funding sources that encourage Complete Streets on our blog.
Pedestrian Death Prompts New Infrastructure in Chaska, MN
In 2008, Jerome Meuwissen was killed by a car while walking to church. Two years later, Complete Streets improvements have been finished, making the street and intersection safe for pedestrians of all ages and abilities. Making isolated safety improvements after a crash is not enough. We need Complete Streets policies that ensure that every road is planned and designed for the safety of everyone who will be using it – whether driving, walking, bicycling, or getting on a bus. Governor Tim Pawlenty signed Complete Streets into Minnesota law in May 2010, helping to put an end to these preventable deaths. Urge your own elected officials - at every level - to follow his lead.
International Walk to School Day Sheds Light on Need for Complete Streets
On October 6, more than 3,000 schools took part in International Walk to School Day, highlighting the simple joy of walking to school, the importance of regular physical activity, and the need for safe places for children to walk and bicycle in their communities. Communities with Complete Streets policies recognize this need in every transportation project, augmenting their Safe Routes to School projects by providing connections to destinations throughout communities for people of all ages. Though schools in Laguna Beach, California opted out of celebrating Walk to School Day because of unsafe, incomplete streets, the community in Glen Rock, New Jersey is looking to work with the Borough Council on adopting a Complete Streets policy.
Quick Takes: Complete Streets Talk Across the Country
- Lawrence, KS: Freshly inspired by a Complete Streets workshop earlier this month, more and more folks in Lawrence are calling for a Complete Streets policy.
- Louisiana: The state Department of Transportation and Development is rolling out its new Complete Streets policy, starting with a project on State Route 42 that would add bike lanes, sidewalks, and create an access management plan.
- New Hope, MN: City Council discussed the growing statewide Complete Streets movement at a work session last month. The City Manager and Council plan to move forward with public outreach and policy development.
- Columbia, MO: The Columbia Daily Tribune traces the adoption of Complete Streets policies in Missouri, noting the progression from the outmoded, auto-centric roads of the past to today’s multimodal streets that give people options.
- Kansas City, MO: An article in the Kansas City Star points explains that the “flashy” Bond Bridge lacks one important element included in another nearby bridge project: safe space for pedestrians and bicyclists to cross the river.
- New Jersey: The State Department of Transportation’s Complete Streets Summit, which aims to bring together local decision makers to learn about Complete Streets policies and how they can help communities across the state be more livable, garnered so much interest that it has completely sold out. Adoption of local policies is a goal of the state’s Complete Streets policy.
- Albany, NY: In a recent Albany Times Union opinion piece, Diana Martin of the American Cancer Society highlights the health benefits of Complete Streets, which facilitate “maintaining an active lifestyle right in your own neighborhood” through biking, walking, or running around the block - all of which are key to cancer prevention. Martin adds that the state Assembly should take quick action on the still-pending statewide Complete Streets bill.
- Rochester, NY: Bill Armbruster of AARP New York writes to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle how Complete Streets policies are a common sense solution to recent pedestrian fatalities and injuries, urging the Assembly to take action on a state law.
- Seattle, WA: A Seattle blogger explains why City Council ought to prioritize Complete Streets in their pending budget decisions, citing the economic potential of Complete Streets, potential reduction of city spending on traffic policing, and utilization of on-street vegetation to absorb runoff and relieve the burden on Seattle’s aging sewer system.
- Washington, DC: Reporting on a spate of pedestrian deaths recently, the Washington Post rightly notes speeding vehicles and distracted driving as potential causes, but ignores the simple fact that too many streets in the region are built without thought for people not in automobiles.
Incomplete Streets Death: Khardiatou Goloko
On October 13, Khardiatou Goloko was fatally struck while on a morning walk in Anne Arundel County, MD. Goloko was crossing the intersection of Fort Smallwood and Kembo Roads, just a few steps behind a larger group that had crossed safely. Fort Smallwood Road is a busy, six-lane arterial, and its intersection with Kembo Road has no crosswalks, stop signs, or stoplights.
New Fact Sheet: Complete Streets in Rural Communities
By planning, designing, and constructing Complete Streets, communities of all sizes - whether rural hamlets, small towns, or big cities - are able to provide the quality access to jobs, health care, shops, and schools their residents deserve, while also achieving greater economic, environmental, and public health benefits. This fact sheet explores the ways a Complete Streets approach can help rural and small towns and counties to provide a more effective, balanced transportation system.
New Report Reveals Time Spent in Traffic Due to Sprawl
CEOs for Cities has issued a new report that illuminates the ability of compact development to save the time and money many Americans spend in traffic each day. The CEOs for Cities approach challenges the Texas Transportation Institute’s well-known congestion ranking based on speed of travel, instead ranking cities based on time spent traveling in peak traffic. This results in city rankings that are almost the opposite of those found in the Urban Mobility Report, whose approach suggests sprawling highways as a cure to traffic congestion.
A Heavy Burden: Report Unveils Individual Cost of Obesity
A first-ever report from the George Washington University Medical Center reveals the individual cost of obesity in the United States. Factoring in previously unexplored variables including job-related and consumer-related costs, the report finds that the individual cost of being obese is $4,879 and $2,646 for women and men respectively. The data shows that obese individuals face not only high medical costs, but higher non-medical costs as well, such as lost wages due to disability and premature mortality.
Webinar Recording Available: Complete Streets and Public Transportation
Earlier this month, Coalition Executive Director Barbara McCann was joined by Adolfo Hernandez of Chicago’s Active Transportation Alliance to discuss effective advocacy and implementation of Complete Streets policies, with a focus on providing access to public transportation. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center to Prevent Childhood Obesity has posted an archive of the webinar that can be accessed for free. Check it out!
Webinar Series: Environmental and Policy Change for Healthy Aging
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is presenting an interactive, online conference to build capacity for change to support healthy aging. Policy, practice, and partnerships will be addressed as well as special issues. Panelists and speakers are national and community experts in aging, planning, policy, universal design, transportation, public health, environmental protection, and community change.
Demonstration Complete Streets Project in Fort Worth, TX
Taking a page from the Oak Cliff neighborhood in Dallas, a group of volunteers in Forth Worth took $500 of materials and made over South Main Street. Adding a high visibility crosswalk, bicycle lanes, tables, chairs, bicycle parking, and some landscaping, the crew made the block into a vision of livability for the city. Experimental and demonstration projects help communities understand the benefits of Complete Streets first hand: the inspirational Oak Cliff project is in talks to become permanent.
Smart Mobility for a 21st Century America
A new report on smarter mobility (.pdf) demonstrates how existing and emerging technologies can squeeze more capacity from over-burdened highways, help commuters avoid traffic delays, and expand and improve transportation options, all while saving money and creating jobs. Many of these smart transportation solutions are already fueling innovation throughout the country; Transportation for America has released a series of case studies on topics from Bus Rapid Transit to trip reduction.
"Complete Streets are fundamental to where we're going with everything that we're developing Topeka."
– Karen Hiller, Topeka, Kansas City Council member
"We need to nudge the cultural norms toward active transportation."
– Michael Huber, Center for Prevention of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota
"It is time to look at the big picture: diverse, properly designed transportation systems are essential for the nation's well-being. Not only do they prevent unnecessary death on the roads, they also connect people with job opportunities, services, and social networks."
– Larry Cohen, Executive Director, Prevention Institute
Thank you to our Partners: