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
- Complete Streets in the Big Easy
- Ordinance Adopted in Cook County, Illinois
- Victory in Spokane
- Quick Takes: Policy Adoption
- Quick Takes: Policy Action
- Federal Policy Update
- Executive Director to Receive Award
- You're Invited to the Second Annual Complete Streets Dinner
- Calling All 2011 Policies
COMPLETE STREETS NEWS
- TIGER Winners Embrace Complete Streets Approach
- Quick Takes: Complete Streets Talk Across the Country
- Report: Transportation Funding and Equity
- Retrofitting Communities to Increase Walking
- Sign Up for a Smart Growth Tour of San Diego
- Sustainable Rural Communities
- Submit Proposals for 2012's Pro Walk/Pro Bike Conference
- Register for National Bike Summit, Active Living Research Annual Conference
COMPLETE STREETS POLICY PROGRESS
Complete Streets in the Big Easy
The New Orleans City Council voted 7-0 in favor of a strong Complete Streets ordinance (.pdf) last month. Councilmember Kristin Gisleson Palmer championed the legislation, which codifies the post-Katrina work done by the city to improve transportation options and ensures such practices are institutionalized. For residents, Complete Streets is more than just bike lanes and sidewalks and other tangible facilities; it's also a way to ensure that everyone, regardless of race, income, age, or ability, can travel throughout New Orleans safely and easily. New Orleans is the first locality in Louisiana to adopt a Complete Streets policy.
Ordinance Adopted in Cook County, Illinois
A well-written policy that was supported by the County Highway Department was approved by the County Board of Commissioners on December 14. The ordinance replaces an earlier Complete Streets policy, strengthening the County's commitment to creating streets that are better for everyone, regardless of how they travel. The policy (.pdf) is notable as one of the strongest at the county level nationally, and as one of the growing number that include performance measures. (See our Complete Streets Policy Analysis 2010 report to see how we rank policy strength; the 2011 update will be coming out soon.)
Victory in Spokane
A three-year campaign in Spokane, Washington that engaged hundreds of Complete Streets supporters has seen the fruits of its labor: a new Complete Streets ordinance (.pdf), adopted on December 19. Council champion Jon Snyder recounts the meeting and the testimony heard that evening, much of which focused on the health and safety aspects of Complete Streets. Everyone is invited to a celebratory party on January 19 -- a quick pause before the work to implement the policy begins.
Quick Takes: Policy Adoption
Quick Takes: Policy Action
- Community members and elected officials in Fairhope, Alabama worked with livability expert Dan Burden earlier this month to better understand the implications of their Complete Streets policy on recently repaved -- but not yet painted -- roadways. (Mobile Press-Register)
- "Parklets" -- small public spaces created from a few on-street parking spots -- are a popular tactic employed by San Francisco to create more complete streets. (San Francisco Chronicle)
- A new initiative of the City of Chicago aims to help keep sidewalks clear of snow by connecting the city's residents with disabilities and older adults with volunteers willing to shovel. (Chicago Snow Corps)
- A newly adopted Active Transportation Plan will help Forest Park, Illinois implement its recent Complete Streets policy. (Active Transportation Alliance)
- Learn about Michigan's Context Sensitive Solutions and Complete Streets efforts at the Transportation Bonanza to be held on February 20. (American Planning Association Michigan Chapter)
- When Burton Road is repaved, Grand Rapids, Michigan will restripe it with a center turn lane and bike lanes, in line with the city's Complete Streets resolution. (Grand Rapids Press)
- The Non-Motorized Advisory Committee in Ypsilanti, Michigan is considering ways to educate residents about new markings and facilities that will accompany implementation of the city's Complete Streets policy. (Ypsilanti Courier)
- Changing how sidewalk construction is funded and making them more inexpensive for residents will be one key to implementing Complete Streets in Missoula, Montana. (The Atlantic Cities)
- Transportation engineers in Salt Lake City are piloting a new design for Sunnyside Avenue that's in line with the city's Complete Streets goals. (Salt Lake Tribune)
Federal Policy Update
In case you missed the big news last month, the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation unanimously approved a safe streets amendment to the proposed federal transportation bill. The language, introduced by Alaska Senator Mark Begich (D) and amended by Senator John Thune of South Dakota (R), directs the U.S. Secretary of Transportation to create standards for the safe accommodation of all road users and allows the Secretary to waive the standards for states that have their own policies. Please be sure to thank Senators Begich and Thune for being champions of this measure! Next step: ensuring this language stays in the full Senate transportation bill.
We anticipate more action on the federal transportation bill in the coming weeks and months. Please keep up the drumbeat for Complete Streets by contacting your federal representatives today! You can quickly send them an email or check out our resources for making a phone call or scheduling an in-person meeting.
Executive Director to Receive Award
Barbara McCann, the National Complete Streets Coalition's Executive Director, will receive the Transportation Advancement Award (.pdf) tonight from the Institute of Transportation Engineers Metropolitan Section of New York and New Jersey. The Section uses this award to recognize individuals who have made continuing non-engineering contributions to the field. Congratulations Barbara!
You're Invited to the Second Annual Complete Streets Dinner
There's still time to buy seats for our Annual Complete Streets Dinner, to be held on January 24 in Washington, D.C. This year's featured guest is Roy Kienitz, who recently left his post as Under Secretary for Policy at the U.S. Department of Transportation. Your other dining companions will be among the top minds in Complete Streets. Seats are available for $150 per person; Complete Streets Partner organizations receive a significant discount. See our blog for details.
Calling All 2011 Policies
Did your community adopt a Compete Streets policy in 2011? Fantastic! Is it on our master list of policies? If not, it's because we don't have the policy document. We can only count those policies that we're able to read and confirm are true Complete Streets policies. Check our Atlas; if your community is missing, please send the policy to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll be issuing our analysis of 2011 policies soon.
COMPLETE STREETS NEWS
TIGER Winners Embrace Complete Streets Approach
The U.S. Department of Transportation announced its third round of TIGER funding and again demonstrated that projects that provide save travel for everyone can compete. The DOT says that of the $511 million allocated, $64 million will go to "Complete Streets projects that will spur small business growth and benefit motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians." Via Streetsblog Capitol Hill, the Rails to Trails Conservancy notes of the 46 projects, 22 include accessibility for bicycles and pedestrians, and they highlight a street makeover in Beaufort, South Carolina.
Quick Takes: Complete Streets Talk Across the Country
- Atlanta Councilman Kwanza Hall plans to introduce a Complete Streets ordinance for the City. (Atlanta Journal Constitution)
- Support Complete Streets in Savannah, Georgia by attending a public meeting on Thursday, January 19. (Sustainable Savannah)
- Better walking and bicycling routes are part of Pittsburg, Kansas's strategy to fight the childhood obesity epidemic. (Joplin Globe)
- Hispanics account for nearly half of the pedestrian deaths in Montgomery County, Maryland last year, reflecting a national trend in which Hispanics are disproportionately represented in pedestrian fatalities. (WTOP)
- A three-year campaign led by the LivableStreets Alliance has culminated in new bike lanes and better sidewalks for people traveling over the Charles River in Boston. Meanwhile, the City and the National Park Service have launched a new initiative to get people to the city's many historic sites via foot, bicycle, or public transportation. (LivableStreets Alliance, Boston Globe)
- Efforts to bring Complete Streets to Detroit got the attention of the Huffington Post.
- The planning agency for the Washtenaw County, Michigan region has drafted a Complete Streets Plan, which is available for public review. (Dexter Patch)
- A study finds that residents of Portland, Oregon -- a community well known for building more complete streets -- spend $2.6 billion less on transportation annually compared to other cities to similar size. (Portland's Green Dividend)
- Complete Streets are gaining ground in Texas, and anyone can help, says Tim Morstad of Safe Streets Texas. (San Antonio Express News)
- A grassroots group in Dallas has put up $25,000 to spur the city's design and implementation of a Complete Streets retrofit on Fort Worth Avenue. (Dallas Observer)
- Polly Trottenberg, the Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy at the U.S. Department of Transportation, discusses the national trend toward multimodal streets and how DOT is supporting communities' Complete Streets goals. (BikePortland)
- A group of stakeholders will hash out Complete Streets policy language for the Washington, D.C. region on January 30.
Report: Transportation Funding and Equity
AARP Public Policy Institute has issued a new report on the equity considerations of transportation funding measures, focusing especially on the effect on low-income people, rural residents, people with disabilities, and older adults. The report authors found that most current financing mechanisms at the federal, state, and local levels are regressive for older adults and retired people. They call for government policies at levels to offset this inequity by expanding transportation facilities and services that benefit older adults, such as improved public transportation options, increased access to safe pedestrian facilities, and better driver assessment and training.
Retrofitting Communities to Increase Walking
Research led by a team at University of California at Irvine suggests that suburban communities looking to encourage more walking to destinations should develop a central core featuring a variety of shops and services that are within easy walking distance of each other.
Sign Up for a Smart Growth Tour of San Diego
One of the best ways to learn how best practices in sustainable growth and safer streets is to visit communities that are implementing those ideas right now. Smart Growth and Complete Streets experts Dan Burden and Paul Zykofsky will lead a three-day tour of the San Diego region (.pdf), beginning on January 30. You can still register for this incredible tour, but act soon!
Sustainable Rural Communities
A December 2011 report shows how the Partnership for Sustainable Communities -- the collaboration between the U.S. Department of Transportation, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development -- is working to support stronger rural communities. The report includes recommended performance measures for expanding transportation choices and suggests adoption of a Complete Streets policy.
Submit Proposals for 2012's Pro Walk/Pro Bike Conference
Session, poster, and mobile workshop proposals are now being accepted for the bi-annual Pro Walk/Pro Bike conference, to be held in Long Beach, CA this September. Selected proposals will be heard by an audience of up to 1,000 bicycle and walking professionals from across the country and overseas. Proposals are due February 1.
Register for National Bike Summit, Active Living Research Annual Conference
The 2012 National Bike Summit, your opportunity to meet with your federal representatives and get the latest in federal advocacy efforts, will be held March 20-23 in Washington, D.C. Early bird registration is open until February 3. The ninth Active Living Research Annual Conference, which will focus on social, economic, and racial disparities in physical activity, is being held March 12-14 in San Diego, CA. Early bird registration is available until January 31.
"You can't attribute the popularity of bikes to the influx of new people and the fact that people are all green. It is the fact that we are a poor city. People cannot afford to have cars and they get around on bikes. This has always been the case and now we are becoming more conscious of it. It's an equity issue. People should be able to get to work, school or the store safely, affordably, and in a way that is healthy to them and the community."
-- Councilwoman Kristin Gisleson Palmer, New Orleans, Louisiana
"This puts the framework in place that allows the city to start with a project in the design phase and include these multi-modal recommendations. It will be at a much lower cost than tearing up something that's already in place."
-- Michael Leaf, Transportation Commission, Highland Park, Illinois
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