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
- Excelsior! Complete Streets Will Be Law in New York
- Wisconsin's First Local Ordinance Adopted in La Crosse
- Putting Paper to Practice
- Quick Takes: Policy Adoption
- Federal Policy Update
- Steering Committee Spotlight: APBP
- Partner Spotlight: SvR Design Company
- Now Hiring: Fall Intern
- New Bronze Partners: RICK Engineering Company
COMPLETE STREETS NEWS
- Civil Engineers: Transportation System Should Be Designed for All
- Rethinking Streets for Successful Communities
- Quick Takes: Complete Streets Talk Across the Country
- Incomplete Streets Death: Bo Feng
- Complete Streets Materials Available in Spanish
- Transportation As a Civil Right
- Walking Safely at All Ages: Two Upcoming Webinars in Spanish
- Webinar: Accessible Public Rights-of-Way
- People Powered Photo Contest
COMPLETE STREETS POLICY PROGRESS
Excelsior! Complete Streets Will Be Law in New York
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo issued a news release on Monday announcing that he will sign the Complete Streets bill into law. Governor Cuomo said, "New York's roadways should safely accommodate all pedestrians, motorists and cyclists, and this legislation will help communities across the state achieve this objective. Complete Streets designs recognize measures that will make streets safer for New Yorkers of all ages and abilities." The new law will impact state Department of Transportation projects and local and county projects that receive both federal and state funding and are subject to state DOT oversight. The bill passed the state legislature in late June through the work of a broad coalition that included AARP and the transportation reform group Tri-State Transportation Campaign, and had broad-based support throughout the state.
Wisconsin's First Local Ordinance Adopted in La Crosse
On Thursday, August 11, the La Crosse City Council voted to adopt a Green and Complete Streets ordinance marrying multimodal planning and design to best practices in stormwater management. Notably, the ordinance offers direction in ensuring implementation, including trainings; incorporation of Green Complete Streets into plans, codes, manuals, and the like; and establishing new performance measures and data collection standards, including latent demand, existing levels of service for the varying modes, collision statistics, bicycle and pedestrian injuries and fatalities, mode shift, miles of new bicycle facilities and sidewalks, and percentage of streets with tree canopy.
Putting Paper to Practice
The Coalition advocates for communities to focus their Complete Streets policy implementation around four key steps: changing policy and process within the decision-making process; revising design guidance to be flexible, context-sensitive, and routinely multimodal; offering training and educational opportunities to transportation staff, community leaders, and the general public; and instituting new measures to track progress and performance. A few great examples of these steps cropped up in the last month:
- San Francisco has, in the last year, built 14 miles of new bike lanes, implemented innovative designs such as bike boxes and green-painted lanes, and began testing new treatments for bicycle safety – with more in the works.
- New York City announced a 14% increase in commuter bike riders compared to last spring, continuing a trend of increased cycling in the city.
- Though the Michigan Department of Transportation has been conducting them for years, the number of training courses in bicycle planning – complete with putting transportation planners and engineers on the road on bikes – has doubled since 2008.
What is your community doing to implement a Complete Streets policy? Tell us about it! We'll highlight your stories in future newsletters.
Quick Takes: Policy Adoption
- New Orleans, LA: City Council approved a resolution on August 4 requesting the Transportation Committee draft and submit a Complete Streets ordinance based on best practices in policies nationwide.
- Birmingham, MI: A Complete Streets resolution met unanimous support in Birmingham, a suburb of Detroit with a population of just over 20,000. The City Commission's resolution directs staff to develop a set of proposed policies and procedures for implementation.
Federal Policy Update
It is August recess! D.C. may be quiet, but the districts are buzzing because Members of Congress are at home for the month. Please take time to meet with them in person and express your support of the Safe and Complete Streets Act (H.R. 1780/S. 1035). Local constituents are our most powerful voice and the time is critical! Resources on how to schedule a meeting and meeting talking points are available on our website.
Before leaving for recess, Rep. Leonard L. Boswell (IA-3), Rep. Michael E. Capuano (MA-8), Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-14), and Rep. Chellie Pingree (ME-1) made sure to sponsor the Safe and Complete Streets Act. Use our online tool to thank them! If you're not in their districts, you can still send a note to your representatives to show your support for federal Complete Streets legislation.
Steering Committee Spotlight: APBP
This month, we highlight the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (APBP), which helps manage the Coalition's successful Workshop program and brings hundreds of practitioners into the Complete Streets fold. In fact, APBP is making possible one of the most exciting Complete Streets events on the horizon: an entire conference dedicated to Complete Streets, happening in Charlotte, North Carolina (a hotbed of Complete Streets implementation), this October. Check out our blog for details!
Partner Spotlight: SvR Design Company
Based in Seattle, SvR Design Company recently renewed its commitment to Complete Streets, supporting the Coalition as a Platinum Partner and active member of our Steering Committee. Tom von Schrader, PE, LEED AP, a principal with the firm and one of Complete Streets Workshop instructors, wrote about SvR's passion for safe, multimodal street networks on our blog, noting how Complete Streets is the right thing to do environmentally, socially, and economically.
Now Hiring: Fall Intern
Want to put your passion for Complete Streets to work? If you are an undergraduate student or a recent grad living 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. They are detail-oriented and organized individuals with strong writing skills. Check out the listing and get your application in soon.
New Bronze Partners: RICK Engineering Company
We welcome RICK Engineering Company to our Bronze Partners. RICK provides full-service expertise in civil and transportation/traffic engineering; urban design and planning; landscape architecture; and storm water resource management in seven offices throughout California and Arizona. Since 1955, RICK has provided planning and design services for projects that promote safety and sustainability.
COMPLETE STREETS NEWS
Civil Engineers: Transportation System Should Be Designed for All
At its most recent Board meeting, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) made an official policy endorsement of Complete Streets, stating, "ASCE believes that America's transportation system should be designed, built, operated, and managed for safe travel by everyone." ASCE, America's oldest national engineering society, represents more than 140,000 civil engineers nationwide. They join the chorus of other transportation professional organizations in support of Complete Streets, including the Institute of Transportation Engineers, the American Planning Association, and the Society of Landscape Architects.
Rethinking Streets for Successful Communities
The importance of quality, multi-modal streets is explained in a video from the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, whose comprehensive Complete Streets policy earned top marks in our Policy Analysis. With changing demands for housing and community options, the interviewed experts emphasize the need to change long-standing systems of transportation and land use planning and design to create walkable communities – the kinds of communities the market favors.
Quick Takes: Complete Streets Talk Across the Country
- Tucson, AZ: In response to the recent Dangerous by Design report that notes the city's high number of pedestrian fatalities, the county's transportation director points to the region's work in developing Complete Streets policies and practices as a proactive solution to the dangerous roadway conditions. (KOLD News)
- San Jose, CA: A new focus on providing safe roadways for people on foot or on bicycles throughout the Bay Area is the subject of a recent Mercury News article.
- Chicago, IL: A new study reveals the alarmingly high frequency of pedestrian death and injury within the city, noting that there are 2 hit-and-run crashes resulting in pedestrian death or injury every day. In addition to upping police enforcement, the study is prompting the city to look into additional Complete Streets type improvements as it works on its first Pedestrian Plan. (Chicago Tribune)
- Evansville, IN: As the region looks for more ways to make its streets more accessible to users of all ages, a half-hour TV show discusses what Complete Streets are and what it can mean for the community. (WNIN)
- Wichita, KS: The Wichita Eagle reports on a recent Complete Streets presentation given by Workshop instructor Roger Henderson the evening before he lead a full-day workshop on policy development.
- Boston, MA: In an opinion article for the Boston Globe, Anthony Flint describes how the city's new bike-share system will support its Complete Streets initiative.
- Michigan: Though the state has more time to develop its Complete Streets policy, as required by law, advocates are ramping up efforts to show the importance of flexible, multi-modal transportation planning and design. (Let's Save Michigan)
- Oakland County, MI: A pair of County Commissioners has teamed up to show how county roads could better meet the needs of all users through a Complete Streets policy. A resolution is expected to go before the full Commission later this month. (Daily Tribune)
- Royal Oak, MI: When introducing a new feature examining how communities are adapting to modern challenges and opportunities, the Royal Oak Patch notes how the community, and others in Michigan, are looking to Complete Streets to meet changing expectations.
- St. Cloud, MN: City Council discussed adopting a Complete Streets ordinance on Monday, August 15. No action was taken, but the proposal has support from several Council members. (St. Cloud Times)
- Billings, MT: On August 22, the Billings City Council will be voting on a Complete Streets resolution, and proponents are rallying to show their support. On Sunday evening, the Chamber of Commerce Trails Committee is hosting a Complete Streets Rally and Ride in support of the resolution. Late last month, the Billing Gazette's editorial board wrote in favor of Complete Streets, noting that it would be an "inclusive policy" that ensures transportation projects best serve the community.
- Keene, NH: A Complete Streets resolution will come before City Council tomorrow, August 18.
- Summerville, SC: As advocates work to advance a Complete Streets ordinance, they are encouraged to speak about more than just the benefits to cyclists. (Summerville Journal Scene)
Incomplete Streets Death: Bo Feng
Just a few weeks after graduating high school, 17-year-old Bo Feng was fatally struck by a driver on July 15. Feng was walking with a friend at the intersection of Shorb Street and New Avenue, a 5-lane thoroughfare lined with homes and shops, in Alhambra. One of Feng's closest friends, Kimiko Nishitsuji, began a petition to make the intersection safer, collecting over 1,000 signatures before presenting it to council earlier this month. "It shouldn't take a tragedy like this…to make a change," she said. "No more excuses...I want answers." Several other community members joined Nishitsuji, one of whom reminded the council that Alhambra is the most dangerous city of its size in the state for older pedestrians.
Complete Streets Materials Available in Spanish
The Coalition is excited to share a new section on our website sharing the Complete Streets concept with Spanish-speaking communities. With help from the Active Transportation Alliance in Chicago, we now offer a webpage and introductory fact sheet (.pdf) that cover frequently asked questions, as well as a downloadable presentation on the benefits of Complete Streets.
Transportation As a Civil Right
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights has released a series of reports making the case for transportation as a civil right. The reports link transportation equity to access to health care, affordable housing, and employment. The Leadership Council argues that people from all segments of the population must participate in the national transportation policy debate.
Walking Safely at All Ages: Two Upcoming Webinars in Spanish
Two webinars this month will engage Spanish-speaking communities in addressing pedestrian safety issues for older adults and children. On August 24, "Ensenándoles a los Niños Como Caminar Seguramente Mientras Crecen y Desarrollan" will focus on how children develop and what they are ready to learn about safe walking at different ages, including tips and skills. On August 29, join the "Cuidando de nosotros!" webinar to learn about safe walking skills for older adults. This webinar will be presented in English on August 23.
Webinar: Accessible Public Rights-of-Way
Late last month, the U.S. Access Board published proposed guidelines for accessible public rights-of-way -- the first to comprehensively address how public streets and sidewalks can be designed and built to serve all pedestrians, including those with mobility and vision impairments. A webinar on August 30 will discuss design approaches and features that incorporate transportation safety for users with disabilities. Register online. The proposed guidelines can be accessed online, and public comments are welcome at www.regulations.gov. For more information about them, and upcoming public hearings, visit www.access-board.gov.
People Powered Photo Contest
The Alliance for Biking & Walking invites you to enter your best photos of biking and walking in the 2011 People Powered Movement Photo Contest for a chance to win great prizes, have your images featured in Momentum magazine, and help build a free, online library of high-quality pictures for bike-ped advocates across North America. Learn more and submit your photos on the contest website. Contest runs August 1 through October 31.
"The idea of making streets more accessible to walkers, bikers, wheelchairs, bus riders and everyone else isn't about service to "special interests." Complete streets is about being inclusive — recognizing that quality of life requires more than four-lane arterials and chip sealed avenues."
— Billings Gazette Editorial Board
"Complete streets design principles have been proven to reduce fatalities and injuries, and by taking them into consideration on future projects we will greatly improve the safety of pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers of all ages and abilities. This new law will result in safer roadways and I thank Governor Cuomo for supporting this law which will help save lives, prevent injuries, and make New York a safer place for all."
— New York State Senator Charles Fuschillo
"With this legislation, future state and local transportation projects will be planned in a way that is more mindful of all users of our roadways. Thanks to this new approach to road design, New Yorkers will be able to realize the convenience, energy savings and health benefits that all forms of mobility have to offer. I commend Governor Cuomo for his leadership and New York will be better off with this new law in place."
— New York State Assemblyman David Gantt
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