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.
Tell Us Your Complete Streets Stories!
The National Complete Streets Coalition is working to address concerns and misconceptions of Complete Streets, and we need your help. We believe the best arguments come straight from real-life stories, and we've developed several points based on what we've gathered so far. But we need more of them. We want stories, quotes, and photos from communities that are making Complete Streets a reality. Read about the points we want to illustrate with your stories and how to submit them on our blog.
COMPLETE STREETS POLICY PROGRESS
- Two Steps Forward, One Step Back in Cleveland
- Moving Toward a Healthier, More Livable Birmingham
- Quick Takes: Policy Adoption
- Quick Takes: Policy Implementation
- Federal Policy Update
- AARP New Jersey Continues Push for Safer Streets
- More People Taking Public Transportation
- Coalition Breakfast at APWA Conference
- Partner Spotlight: Nelson\Nygaard
- Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District Renews
COMPLETE STREETS NEWS
- Get Help with Complete Streets
- Complete Streets in National Media
- Quick Takes: Complete Streets Talk Across the Country
- Model Design Manual Will Help Turn Policy Into Practice
- APHA Releases Complete Streets Fact Sheet
- Accessing Transit via Foot and Bike Now Easier with FTA Policy
- New Resources to Develop Walkable Urban Thoroughfares
- Safe Cul-de-Sacs? Think Again.
- Going On a Road Diet
- Nominate Your Work for the Weight of the Nation 2012 Awards
- National Survey on Pedestrian/Bicyclist Data and Prioritization
- Ten-foot Travel Lanes Survey
- 2010 Commuting Data Available
- re:Streets Charrette Materials Available
- Registration Open for the 11th Annual New Partners for Smart Growth Conference
- 10 New Communities Earn "Walk Friendly" Status
- Find Your Next Apartment on Walk Score
COMPLETE STREETS POLICY PROGRESS
Two Steps Forward, One Step Back in Cleveland
First the great news: After several years of advocacy, Cleveland has joined the ranks of American cities stepping up to provide safer streets for everyone by adopting a Complete Streets ordinance (.pdf) on September 19. Effective the first of the year, all projects within the city will be required to better provide for all modes and incorporate green infrastructure. The measure, passed unanimously by council, also requires an annual report on the implementation of the ordinance. In a city where nearly one-quarter of residents do not have access to a private vehicle, the measure is important in ensuring equitable transportation planning and design. Yet, despite that need and overwhelmingly positive reaction to the policy, the city still has work to do in prioritizing projects that will achieve the ordinance's goals. A major project to better connect redeveloping neighborhoods with the downtown core will not offer accommodations for people walking or riding bicycles.
Moving Toward a Healthier, More Livable Birmingham
The City of Birmingham, Alabama Planning Commission unanimously adopted a Complete Streets resolution in early September. The move follows an April Complete Streets workshop and several high-profile publications noting the area's danger for people who wish to travel by foot or bicycle. While not binding, the resolution could help guide the city toward healthier, safer streets. Read more on our blog.
Quick Takes: Policy Adoption
- Azusa, CA: On Monday October 17, the Azusa City Council approved a Complete Streets policy (.pdf), the second in Los Angeles County. Promoted by a broad sector of stakeholders, including public health advocates, the resolution will help the community achieve its health and environmental goals.
- Ft. Myers, FL: A Complete Streets resolution (.pdf) was unanimously adopted by the City Council on October 3. The resolution directs review of current policies to create a compressive Complete Streets program by October 2012.
- Ilion, NY: The village of just over 8,000 is the first in Herkimer County to adopt a Complete Streets policy (.pdf). The resolution, unanimously approved by the Village Board of Trustees on September 14, directs the consideration of Complete Streets outcomes in all transportation projects.
Quick Takes: Policy Implementation
- Roswell, GA: A project on Eves Road will be among the first to comply with the city's Complete Streets policy, adding bike lanes and a multi-use path to help people travel by foot or bicycle between several community destinations, including an elementary school and a park.
- Philadelphia, PA: The city is piloting a new configuration for several downtown streets that may result in a road diet, landscaped pedestrian medians, and a protected bike lane -- and provide more visibility to the city's efforts in implementing Mayor Nutter's Complete Streets executive order.
- Buffalo, NY: Buffalo continues to make strides in achieving its 2008 Complete Streets policy, with newly painted shared lane markings on several priority routes. (Buffalo News)
- Washington: The state Department of Transportation released its draft report on compliance (.pdf) with the Complete Streets bill signed into law in July. The report outlines the Complete Streets & Main Street Highways grant program created by that law.
- Tacoma, WA: A grant from the state Transportation Improvement Board will allow the City of Tacoma to improve Alaska Street according to the city's Complete Streets Guidelines, adding sidewalks, curb ramps, bike lanes, storm drainage, and adequate lighting.
Federal Policy Update
With the current transportation bill extended until March 31, 2012, your members of Congress need to hear from you! Let them know you want to see the momentum of local and state Complete Streets success continue in the next federal transportation bill by taking action. We are working with our partners to educate members of Congress about Complete Streets but we need your help to fulfill their request -- to hear from their constituents! We make it easy with an online tool and other resources to use when calling or scheduling a meeting with your representatives.
We thank the most recent co-sponsors of the Safe and Complete Streets Act (H.R. 1780/S. 1056): Representatives Rush Holt (NJ-12), David Cicilline (RI-1), Chris Van Hollen (MD-8), Pete Stark (CA-13), and Steven Cohen (TN-9). If you live in their districts, please drop them a note of thanks.
Transportation Enhancements funding was preserved in the extension despite threats. However, the battle is not over and new threats are emerging; one proposal to divert TE funding to bridge repair is eloquently refuted by Transportation for America Director James Corless, and a new report his group just issued.
The Senate is still working on the appropriations bills for 2012 fiscal year. The subcommittee responsible for Partnership for Sustainable Communities funding voted to preserve funding and the bill now awaits a full Senate vote. Smart Growth America will have the latest information as the vote moves forward.
AARP New Jersey Continues Push for Safer Streets
Following last month's activities, the AARP New Jersey state office released a new video highlighting the dangerous roads in Southern New Jersey. The video features many residents speaking about their experiences on local roadways and urging Representative Frank LoBiondo (NJ-2) to support a federal Complete Streets policy.
More People Taking Public Transportation
Americans took over 85 million more trips on public transportation this year than they did last year, says Steering Committee member the American Public Transportation Association in a new report. Many of these new trips were taken on systems in across the south, including Dallas, Nashville, and Miami.
Coalition Breakfast at APWA Conference
LJB, Inc. worked with the Coalition to host a breakfast for Complete Streets partners at the American Public Works Association Congress in Denver last month; Barbara McCann was in town to speak to a packed session at the conference. She shared the podium with representatives from LJB and the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission of Columbus, Ohio. Consider asking your firm to become a partner!
Partner Spotlight: Nelson\Nygaard
Nelson\Nygaard, a transportation planning and engineering firm and Coalition Silver Partner, works to promote equity among transportation modes in communities nationwide. Read more about how everything they do is related to Complete Streets on our blog.
Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District Renews
The Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District (SMAQMD) renewed their Bronze Partnership this month. SMAQMD believes Complete Streets are an important part of its mission to achieve clean air and protect public health and the environment.
COMPLETE STREETS NEWS
Get Help with Complete Streets
The National Complete Streets Coalition is always looking for new ways to expand our reach, so we're excited to be part of several initiatives that will connect us with communities — maybe even yours! — ready to apply Complete Streets solutions. In partnership with Smart Growth America, we are able to provide a free Complete Streets workshop through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities program. Learn more about this opportunity and the other tools available from Smart Growth America. Applications are due October 26. We are also in the early stages of offering help through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Community Transformation Grants program, which will enable healthier communities in 36 states. Stay tuned for more information on that front!
Complete Streets in National Media
More and more people are taking to walking, bicycling, and riding public transportation, and demanding for better, safer streets – and the media is taking note. A major article in The Nation on the uptick of bicycling in urban areas throws a spotlight on the Complete Streets movement, born out of bicycling advocacy and now encompassing a wide range of stakeholders. The Atlantic Cities also takes a look at all the Complete Streets activity, emphasizing how the goal really is more than bike lanes and includes street trees and better pedestrian crossings.
Quick Takes: Complete Streets Talk Across the Country
- Lee County, FL: The Urban Land Institute Southwest Florida District Council honored the County's Sustainability Programs Manager Tessa LeSage for her work to develop a Complete Streets Interdepartmental Performance Team that established cross-departmental decision-making. (North Fort Myers Neighbor)
- Honolulu, HI: AARP Hawaii and walkability expert Dan Burden teamed up to discuss the urgent need for better walking conditions in the city for people of all ages and abilities. (KITV 4)
- Champaign, IL: Using their Complete Streets Audit tool, the League of Illinois Bicyclists evaluated 16 recent road projects in the Champaign-Urbana region. The resulting report finds that a key reason so many projects scored well is the strong cooperation between area government agencies to achieve Complete Streets. (News-Gazette)
- Albert Lea, MN: With a policy in place, the city of 18,000 in southern Minnesota is looking to implement its Complete Streets vision in a big way by applying for TIGER funds through the U.S. Department of Transportation. (Albert Lea Tribune)
- Chatham Borough, NJ: A multidisciplinary team will lead the Borough's creation of a Complete Streets plan, the first to be funded by the Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions. (Independent Press)
- New York: The Regional Plan Association of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut put its spotlight on the growing numbers of Complete Streets policies in the region, calling for regional cooperation and visioning.
- New York City, NY: One hundred and forty medical professionals signed a letter to Mayor Michael Bloomberg supporting the Mayor's efforts to create Complete Streets throughout the city, citing their importance to enabling a healthier New York. (Streetsblog NYC)
- Waynesville, NC: Town leaders were unhappy with a proposed design of South Main Street from the state Department of Transportation that did little to follow Complete Streets ideas. They will take on their own study of the corridor. (Smoky Mountain News)
- New Philadelphia, OH: National walkability expert Mark Fenton will speak about Complete Streets and other ways to create safe places for walking at the Healthy Tusc Summit on November 3. (Times-Reporter)
- Tulsa, OK: Members of the Transportation Advisory Board are pushing for a Complete Streets policy, though resistance from other members and the Director of Engineering may restrain their hopes. (KJRH 2)
- Brownsville, TX: Noting the lack of Texas communities with Complete Streets policies, Lisa Mitchell-Bennett points out the many reasons the Rio Grande Valley would benefit from such policies. (Valley Morning Star)
- Tysons Corner, VA: Incomplete streets – without sidewalks and safe pedestrian crossings – may hamper plans for a transit-oriented redevelopment of the area. (Washington Post)
Model Design Manual Will Help Turn Policy Into Practice
The Model Design Manual for Living Streets provides a template for local jurisdictions to begin updating their existing design guidance -- one of our four steps to effective implementation of Complete Streets policies. Developed by a team of experts in complete Streets, and coordinated by Coalition Platinum Partner Ryan Snyder and Associates, the manual will help any community create safer, healthier streets. It is available as a free download and can be modified as needed.
APHA Releases Complete Streets Fact Sheet
Coalition member the American Public Health Association has released a new fact sheet on Complete Streets and Public Health. The fact sheet discusses the health and safety benefits of Complete Streets by encouraging active transportation and making streets safe for all users.
Accessing Transit via Foot and Bike Now Easier with FTA Policy
The Federal Transit Administration finalized a policy that allows money disbursed through its grant programs to be spent on improving the walking and bicycling environment (.pdf) around stations and stops. The policy states a de facto relationship between public transportation and "all pedestrian improvements located within one-half mile and all bicycle improvements located within three miles".
New Resources to Develop Walkable Urban Thoroughfares
Expanding on the wealth of information in the Designing Walkable Urban Thoroughfares: A Context Sensitive Approach: An ITE Recommended Practice manual, the Institute of Transportation Engineers has made available supplemental resources, including a set of fact sheets, presentations, and case studies aimed at advocates and the more general public.
Safe Cul-de-Sacs? Think Again.
Wesley E. Marshall, PE, and Norman W. Garrick, PhD, of the University of Connecticut critically examined the role of street networks and safety (.pdf) in 24 California communities. Denser, more connected streets – think your traditional grid pattern – were found to be associated with higher levels of safety than conventional cul-de-sac street patterns. The researchers discuss their findings in The Atlantic Cities.
Going On a Road Diet
An article in the Federal Highway Administration's Public Roads magazine explores the road diet – narrowing or reducing travel lanes to create safer streets for everyone using them, including motorists. The article includes several case studies.
Nominate Your Work for the Weight of the Nation 2012 Awards
Weight of the Nation, the preeminent conference on the prevention and control of obesity through policy and environmental strategies, is accepting nominations for its 2012 awards. Take a moment to nominate your or a colleague's innovative and influential work today. Nominations can be submitted until November 6.
National Survey on Pedestrian/Bicyclist Data and Prioritization
Your input is needed! Toole Design Group is conducting a national survey on methods communities use to analyze pedestrian and bicycle data and prioritize funding for pedestrian and bicycle projects. The survey is part of National Cooperative Highway Research Program's Project 07-17, Pedestrian and Bicycle Transportation along Existing Roads. It is intended for a broad range of stakeholders, including states, MPOs, counties, local jurisdictions, transit agencies, public works and utilities departments, colleges and universities, and others. Complete the survey soon; it will close on November 4. For more information, contact Peter Lagerwey at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ten-foot Travel Lanes Survey
The National Association of City Transportation Professionals is looking for practitioner insight on the use of 10-foot travel lanes. The information, once compiled, should help professionals better understand both the challenges and opportunities of narrower lane widths.
2010 Commuting Data Available
The U.S. Census Bureau released data from the 2010 American Community Survey 1-year estimates. The League of American Bicyclists helpfully pulled together the bicycle commute estimates for 375 cities; an accompanying graph shows how communities doing more to promote bicycling see larger increases in bicycle commuting.
re:Streets Charrette Materials Available
A multi-disciplinary group of over 100 professionals met in late July to set forth a new vision for our nation's streets that goes beyond current best practices. Results of the charrette are now posted online, and will be incorporated into an online, interactive manual in 2012.
Registration Open for the 11th Annual New Partners for Smart Growth Conference
This year's conference, in San Diego, California From February 2 to 4, includes over 100 plenary sessions, breakouts, workshops, and trainings to help participants successfully implement smart growth principles in their communities, including Complete Streets. Visit www.newpartners.org for more details.
10 New Communities Earn "Walk Friendly" Status
In late September, the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center recognized 10 more communities for their work to improve walkability and pedestrian safety. Not surprisingly, most of the newly designated communities are working to implement Complete Streets policies. Think your work is award-worthy? The next round of applications will be accepted beginning November 1. Interested communities are encouraged to visit www.walkfriendly.org.
Find Your Next Apartment on Walk Score
Walk Score, a popular tool to determine your neighborhood's walkability and transit access, last month launched a new feature to help renters find new homes based on commute time by foot, transit, bicycle, or car.
"Walking and bicycling are important components of a complete transportation system and of Minnesota's quality of life. People of all ages deserve to arrive at their destinations safely, no matter what mode they choose."
-- Tom Sorel, Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Transportation
"This is a nice way to tie a lot of [safety and transportation] items together. It will definitely be of benefit to the town."
-- Peter DeLucia, Lewisboro, New York Town Board member
"People, like my grandfather, had the desire to walk, run, or ride to keep active, but just as important is the ability to do each of things -- that is, whether sidewalks or paths exist to provide safe places for activity. In other words, the infrastructure needs to exist — and be maintained — to give older Americans opportunities to stay active as they age."
-- Kevin Nelson, AICP, Senior Policy Analyst at the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Sustainable Communities
Thank you to our Partners: