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
- Portland Resolution Puts Maine on the Map
- Updates from the States
- Quick Takes: Policy Progress
- Federal Policy Update
- Strategy Meeting Sets New Coalition Goals
- AARP Recognized by Secretary LaHood for Commitment to Livable Communities
- Lessons Learned at the Bus/Bike Summit
- Now Hiring: Summer Interns
- Coalition Continues to Welcome New Partners!
COMPLETE STREETS NEWS
- Coalition Partner LISC Offers Complete Streets Webinar in April
- Complete Streets for Los Angeles
- Quick Takes: Complete Streets Talk Across the Country
- Incomplete Streets Death: Ebony Knight
- Urban Bikeway Design Guide Released
- Notes on the Economic Benefits of Multimodalism
- Transportation 101: An Introduction to Federal Transportation Policy
- Street Design and Emergency Response
- Submit Your Complete Streets Policy for the EPA's Smart Growth Awards
- New Articles from the Journal of Physical Activity and Health
- Videos Offer Ideas, Inspiration
- Webinar: Promoting Equity in the Next Federal Transportation Bill
- Registration Now Open for Safe Routes to School National Conference
- …and for CNU 19
COMPLETE STREETS POLICY PROGRESS
Portland Resolution Puts Maine on the Map
In a first for the state, Portland has adopted a Complete Streets resolution. Driven by a need for safe streets and a desire to promote active transportation, the resolution (.pdf) was unanimously supported by City Council and a cadre of bicycling advocates, planners, parents, and public health officials. Portland, a grantee of the CDC's Communities Putting Prevention to Work program, will now convene a Complete Streets Working Group to develop a full policy by March of next year.
Updates from the States
- Missouri: HCR 23, the state's Complete Streets resolution sponsored by Rep. Sally Faith, passed out of the Transportation Funding & Public Institutions Committee on March 3. Next stop: a vote in the full House. Congrats to the many organizations working in support of the resolution!
- New York: New Yorkers are lining up to support bills S1332 and A1863, known as "Brittany's Law," which would direct inclusion of all users in state transportation projects. The law takes its name from the tragic death of 14-year-old Brittany Vega who was stuck and killed by a motorist while she walked to school. While the intersection where Brittany was killed has received some improvements, her mother has joined with thousands of advocates across the state to implore the Department of Transportation to routinely accommodate people on foot or bike or taking transit so that no more families are pained by deaths like Brittany's. If you live in New York State, please sign the petition today.
- Texas: The House Transportation Committee met yesterday morning, March 16, for a public hearing of the Texas Complete Streets bill, HB 1105. Bike Texas offers some helpful advice on contacting members of the committee to show your support and asks that fellow Texans who support Complete Streets attend next week's "Cyclists In Suits," the organization's lobby day.
- Vermont: H 198, introduced last month, would clarify and strengthen Vermont's approach to transportation planning and design so that all users are routinely accommodated. AARP Vermont and the Burlington Livable Community Project have several suggestions for how supporters can help pass the legislation.
Quick Takes: Policy Progress
- San Diego, CA: The San Diego Association of Governments have proposed investing $2.8 billion in making streets safe and accommodating for people on foot and bicycle over the next 40 years – a major boost for locals looking for healthy transportation options and visitors aiming to spend more time enjoying the area's climate. The funds represent just a small percentage of the money to be invested in transportation overall (totaling over $110 billion) and are raised through a locally approved sales tax for transportation, TransNet, which has been home to the region's Complete Streets policy. (San Diego Union-Tribune)
- Ann Arbor, MI: City Council approved a resolution formalizing the city's support for Complete Streets and its commitment to following the Complete Streets approach in its transportation projects. The council's resolution will ensure the city remains competitive in future state transportation funding.
- Jackson, MI: The city of Jackson was an early adopter of Complete Streets and is now looking at ways to strengthen its 2006 resolution. Council has suggested updating the resolution and the city's 2003 nonmotorized plan. (Jackson Citizen Patriot)
- Munising, MI: On February 21, Munising, population 2,500, became the fourth community on Michigan's Upper Peninsula to adopt a Complete Streets resolution. The Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians, participants in the CDC Strategic Alliance for Health program, worked with coalition members and city officials to develop and adopt the resolution.
- Concord, NH: Having adopted the state's first Complete Streets policy in January 2010, Concord's next step to implement that vision – a bicycle master plan – is now before Council for approval. (Concord Monitor)
- Bloomfield, NJ: With a unanimous vote from city council, Bloomfield joined six other communities in the state in committing to Complete Streets.
- Chapel Hill, NC: On February 14, the city council approved a resolution stating that the town is "committed to a Complete Streets policy" and asking staff to report on progress next March.
- South Kingstown, RI: On January 10, South Kingstown became the fourth community in Rhode Island to adopt a Complete Streets resolution (.pdf).
- South Carolina: Supporters are laying the foundations for a stronger statewide Complete Streets policy, with a new resolution in the state legislature making mention of the needs for more complete streets and the Palmetto Cycling Coalition gearing up to form a statewide Complete Streets steering committee to oversee policy adoption and implementation across the state.
Federal Policy Update
The transportation bill has been extended again, this time through September 30th, and Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chair Mica continues to be committed to a six-year bill. The Coalition is working with champions on the Hill to introduce a Complete Streets bill in the next few months. Please let your Congress members know that you support a Complete Streets policy! As Senator Tom Carper (DE) said last week, "The single most effective lobbyists I come across are people from my own state."
Several positive Hill meetings were reported when the National Bike Summit attendees were in town, and we are working to follow up with those members of Congress and request they cosponsor the Complete Streets bill when reintroduced.
We continue to work with our partners in supporting multi-modal transportation and livable communities, and recently joined dozens other organizations in support of the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, a collaboration between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The Partnership’s guiding principles square with Coalition goals, and has already made possible several opportunities for communities to follow a Complete Streets approach, such as the TIGER program in DOT and the new Building Blocks program at EPA.
Strategy Meeting Sets New Coalition Goals
The National Complete Streets Coalition recently held a daylong Strategy Meeting of its members to determine the next steps toward our goal of effective policy implementation. We began with a panel of local, regional, and state leaders who shared their successes and challenges. Taking their stories to heart, the 55 attendees began discussing how the well-earned celebration of policy adoption translates into the work of making changes within agencies and in our communities' streets. To help agencies that have already adopted a policy, the Coalition is now working to establish a new standard that will support and accelerate change by serving as a measure of the degree of policy implementation: which agencies have actually transformed their practices and started to build projects that create complete streets? The attendees at the Strategy Meeting helped work on the first draft of an assessment tool designed to answer that question. Watch our website and upcoming newsletters for more information as we develop this tool.
AARP Recognized by Secretary LaHood for Commitment to Livable Communities
In a recent blog post, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood highlighted AARP's work to make communities across the nation safer and more livable for all, regardless of age or ability. LaHood makes note of their programs around older drivers and road safety, as well as promoting age-friendly communities where walking and taking public transportation are safe, easy, and convenient options for older adults. AARP has been a key supporter of Complete Streets from the very beginning, and we're excited to see how their partnership with the U.S. Department of Transportation will result in even more on-the-ground change.
Lessons Learned at the Bus/Bike Summit
As we reported in October, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA)'s annual meeting included an innovative peer exchange between transportation agency officials and bicycle advocates to discuss opportunities to better coordinate regional transit, bicycle, and pedestrian planning and share current best practices. Takeaways from the meeting of minds, which was born from the collaboration of APTA and bicycle organizations in the National Complete Streets Coalition, are now available through an official report (.pdf). Covering a full gamut of topics, including advocacy, bicycle racks on buses, and integrating bicycles into long-term transit plans, the report also hits on several overarching themes, such as being strategic during transit system planning and development, collecting good data, and continued partnerships with stakeholders.
Now Hiring: Summer Interns
Looking for a way to put your passion for Complete Streets to work this summer? If you are an undergraduate student or a recent grad based in the DC area, we'd love to have you on our team. Interns are a vital part of our staff, involved in everything from research to strategy to stapling. Our interns are detail-oriented, sharp, and organized individuals with strong writing skills who are enthusiastic about Complete Streets. We're looking for assistance on several ongoing activities as well as some higher profile projects this summer. Check out the listing and get your application in soon!
Coalition Continues to Welcome New Partners!
As a Silver Partner of the National Complete Streets Coalition, Johnson, Mirmiran & Thompson, Inc. (JMT) implements the ideals of the Coalition in striving to provide their clients with innovative and sustainable solutions to transportation projects and emphasizing all modes of transportation. Their thorough knowledge of existing standards and best practices is showcased by recent work in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware (.pdf). Experience in transportation planning, traffic engineering, civil engineering, landscape architecture, architecture, and urban design provides a truly multi-disciplined team to assist clients throughout the eastern United States in developing sustainable transportation solutions.
Bicycle Solutions, the San Francisco Bay Area consulting practice of John Ciccarelli, is pleased to become a Bronze Partner. John offers planning, design, workshops, safety evaluations and expert witness services in the bicycle and pedestrian realm, and is available nationwide. He collaborates on plans for cities, campuses, and trails, and develops high-density bicycle storage installations for workplaces, residential buildings, and transit stations.
Also joining us at the Bronze level is Broadreach Planning & Design, a landscape architecture and planning firm serving the needs of bicyclists and pedestrian and the communities in which they live. Recent projects include one of the first multi modal corridor transportation plans in Vermont that includes bus and rail transit, a bicycle/pedestrian plan for the Bangor, Maine MPO(.pdf), and alignments for several shared use paths.
The PedNet Coalition is pleased to join the National Complete Streets Coalition as a Bronze Partner. Founded in 2000 in Columbia, Missouri, PedNet coordinated one of the earliest successful Complete Streets campaigns in the USA. PedNet Consulting of Chicago offers workshops and other assistance to communities trying to pass active transportation legislation and implement community programs that build political support.
COMPLETE STREETS NEWS
Coalition Partner LISC Offers Complete Streets Webinar in April
On April 6, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), a Coalition partner, will host a webinar on how communities are incorporating Complete Streets into neighborhood planning processes. They've drawn in experts from Minnesota – Ethan Fawley of Fresh Energy and Mimi Stender of FitCity Duluth – to share their experiences in advocating and implementing Complete Streets policies at the state and local levels. Coalition State and Local Policy Manager Stefanie Seskin will give a brief overview of how Complete Streets fit into the neighborhood development equation and the new tools the Coalition is developing to help communities. Registration for the event is not necessary; simply click the link at 2:00 pm ET on April 6 to join.
Complete Streets for Los Angeles
The Complete Streets for Los Angeles conference recently brought principles of livability to one of America's most auto-centric cities. Speakers from throughout the local community, the region, and the nation were on hand to discuss not just the myriad benefits of Complete Streets, but how to make them reality throughout the County. Without losing any momentum from the successful conference, Los Angeles County, a participant in the CDC's Communities Putting Prevention to Work program, is working with Coalition Steering Committee member Ryan Snyder and Associates on a new multi-jurisdictional street design guide. Leaders from across the country, including Coalition Executive Director Barbara McCann and representatives of eight steering committee organizations and four Coalition Partner firms, joined local stakeholders and practitioners earlier this week for a charrette to ramp up the project. And, next week, the Coalition is presenting a policy development workshop for the cities of Azusa, Baldwin Park, and Los Angeles.
Quick Takes: Complete Streets Talk Across the Country
- Evansville, IN: Andrea Hays, representing the local move•ment Initiative, wrote in the Evansville Courier & Express of the many reasons to pursue a Complete Streets approach locally, from reducing time spent doing errands to enabling healthier lifestyles.
- Maryland: A Circuit Court found the State of Maryland liable for the tragic death of Kelay Smith, who was killed by a motorist while walking on a stretch of road that did not have sidewalks or guardrails. Smith's young daughter was awarded $3.3 million and her mother awarded $800,000. (Washington Post)
- Cleveland, OH: Despite a previous decision not to pursue a Complete Streets ordinance, a new resolution passed by Cleveland City Council as part of the Healthy Cleveland Initiative commits the city to "develop a Complete Streets Policy to improve bike and pedestrian access and mobility on street, streetscape, [and] bridge improvement projects."
- Seattle, WA: Mayor McGinn took to his blog to describe the Complete Streets process undertaken by the city in planning changes to two important corridors in South Seattle. On these routes, the Department of Transportation worked to balance the needs of all modes – pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and freight vehicles included – while still focusing on creating safer streets for everyone.
Incomplete Streets Death: Ebony Knight
Fifteen-year-old Ebony Knight was fatally struck while walking along the shoulder of Indiana State Road 25 in Lafayette. Though in a residential area, the stretch of roadway lack sidewalks and has a speed limit of 40 mph. Ebony was about a half-mile from her home, returning from a trip to buy school supplies with her cousin. Residents of the area agree the road is unsafe for anyone on foot. As neighbor Gena Walker stated, "People go get groceries, cigarettes. They push strollers through here. Not everyone has a car, you know. This is a dangerous area for moms, for kids. They need sidewalks here."
Urban Bikeway Design Guide Released
The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) unveiled its Urban Bikeway Design Guide last week. Officials from NACTO cities and top planners and designers teamed up to draw from expert knowledge, existing guidelines from countries and cities around the world, and innovative projects in the States. "NACTO's Urban Bikeway Design Guide gives American planners and designers the tools they need to make cycling accessible to more people," said Janette Sadik-Khan, New York City Transportation Commissioner and President of NACTO. The guide features detailed plan drawings, three-dimension renderings of the designs, and pictures of actual projects from around the country, and can be adopted by individual cities, counties, or states as either a stand-alone document or as a supplement to other roadway guidance.
Notes on the Economic Benefits of Multimodalism
Several new resources document the ways that walkable, bikeable streets are good not only for our personal health, but for our community's economic health too. A one-page brief from Bristol, Australia (.pdf) notes that neighborhood shops with sustainable transportation infrastructure draw in 20% to 40% more patrons than those in less pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods and people traveling by foot, bike, or public transportation were more likely to support their local shops than car drivers. The National Building Museum's Intelligent Cities initiative took a closer look at how that works: by reducing expenditures on cars, people might opt to move closer to public transportation and to shops, work, and services – and spend the money otherwise put toward fuel and insurance into their local economies. Over at Grist, columnist Elly Blue launched a new series on "bikenomics" with the first two installments exploring how bicycling adds value to local and regional economies and the ways auto-centric infrastructure is far more costly to maintain and expand than retrofitting existing streets to be more bike friendly, offering numerous examples.
Transportation 101: An Introduction to Federal Transportation Policy
Transportation for America has released a new resource for new members of Congress and others looking to brush up on just how federal transportation policy works and how the money flows. Transportation 101 is a comprehensive guide to the history of the federal transportation program, its current trends, and its future challenges.
Street Design and Emergency Response
A new report (.pdf) from the Congress for New Urbanism seeks to bridge the gap between narrow, multimodal urban roads and large emergency response vehicles. The report recounts both the history of the U.S. fire service and current practices in street design, continuing a dialogue that will ultimately make our streets and communities even safer. The team at Strong Towns put together a series of blog posts last month tackling the issue, culminating in a ten-point argument for narrower streets.
Submit Your Complete Streets Policy for the EPA's Smart Growth Awards
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is accepting applications for its National Award in Smart Growth Achievement. Awards will be given to projects in up to four categories, including "Programs, Policies, and Regulations." This category looks at current regulatory and policy initiatives that support the principles of smart growth. We encourage representatives of our state and local policies across the country to apply! EPA previously awarded New York City and Charlotte, North Carolina for their Complete Streets initiatives. The deadline to apply is Wednesday, April 6.
New Articles from the Journal of Physical Activity and Health
The Journal of Physical Activity & Health has released a free supplement to its latest issue. It features numerous articles on livable communities, from original research on commuting by public transit and physical activity to an editorial on community organizing for active living.
Videos Offer Ideas, Inspiration
A slew of new videos came online in the last month, offering inspiration and practical advice from experts in transforming communities.
- Dan Burden spoke at a recent TEDx conference in Manhattan Beach, discussing how good transportation planning and design contributes to community vitality and the importance of public participation.
- In a three-part series, Jana Lynott, Senior Strategic Policy Advisor at AARP's Public Policy Institute, speaks on Complete Streets and why AARP is supporting communities in this work.
- Jan Gehl, a Danish architect and urban design consultant whose ideas on improving public space for people on foot and bicycle are transforming cities around the globe, shared his wisdom at a recent Economist conference.
- Last but not least, the Streetfilms team is in the midst of a new ten-part series, Moving Beyond the Automobile, that is expanding the definition of urban mobility, exploring solutions for reducing congestion, and improving street safety for all users.
Webinar: Promoting Equity in the Next Federal Transportation Bill
The Equity Caucus at Transportation for America will explore how federal transportation policy can advance economic opportunity in America during a webinar on Thursday, March 18. Be sure to register today.
Registration Now Open for Safe Routes to School National Conference
Registration and call for presentations are now open for the 3rd Safe Routes to School (SRTS) National Conference, August 16 - 18, 2011, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The conference will strengthen participant's ability to influence the institutions, social norms and communities that shape the success of the SRTS movement. Early bird registration is available through May 31.
…and for CNU 19
This year's Congress for the New Urbanism will convene in Madison, Wisconsin from June 1 to 4. Attendees will explore linkages that urban communities have with local food production, the food economy and the infrastructure that has developed around this symbiosis. Check out the website for the latest information on sessions, tours, speakers, and to register.
"If we were able to get [a Complete Streets policy] passed for this area we would know that every time that we see a road getting fixed it would be safer for all the kids in the community."
— Sandi Vega of Hempstead, New York, whose daughter Brittany was struck and killed by a car
"How much easier it would be to visit the stores you frequent if you didn't have to get in and out of the car for each one? How much of a hassle is it to find yet another parking space and get the kids in and out of car seats? Have you worried about accidentally clipping a jogger or biker along the side of a road? By developing streets that are hospitable to all users, we add convenience and remove some of the barriers that make it difficult to weave physical activity into our daily routine."
— Andrea Hays, Director of the move·ment Initiative, Evansville, IN
Thank you to our Partners: