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
- Federal Policy Update
- Momentum Continues at State Level
- Quick Takes: Policy Adoption
- Quick Takes: Policy Action
- McCann Interviewed by NewPublicHealth
- Celebrating Success and Friendship at the Complete Streets Dinner
- Coalition Partner Gresham, Smith and Partners Talks Implementation
- Complete Streets on the Road
COMPLETE STREETS NEWS
- AARP Introduces "Roads Scholar" Blog
- New York Times Highlights Link Between Street Design and Health
- Quick Takes: Complete Streets Talk Across the Country
- Active Transportation in Rural Communities and Small Towns
- New Report Offers Insight into Bicycling and Walking Across the Country
- Improving Pedestrian Safety at Intersections
- Fourth Round of TIGER Funding Available
- Apply for the 2012 EPA National Award for Smart Growth Achievement
- Webinar: Model Design Manual for Living Streets
- New Resource for Delaware Advocates
- Registration Open for Weight of the National 2012
COMPLETE STREETS POLICY PROGRESS
Federal Policy Update
Complete Streets remains in play as both Houses of Congress work on their transportation authorizations. As of this writing, the House bill represents the opposite of Complete Streets, directing states and local governments to spend their dedicated federal transportation dollars on automobile-oriented roads -- while leaving public transportation, bicycling, and walking out in the cold. The bill is meeting so much resistance the House has split it into three parts and delayed consideration; to keep up on all the issues at stake we recommend following the blogs of Transportation for America and the Natural Resources Defense Council's Deron Lovass.
The Senate bill includes a Complete Streets provision that won bi-partisan support, but it is included under an otherwise-controversial 'safety' title. We're urging Senator Barbara Boxer (CA), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, to be sure the Complete Streets provision doesn't get lost. Last week we issued a preview of a report on the success of California's Complete Streets movement: It's a Safe Decision: Complete Streets in California. The sponsor of our House bill, Representative Doris Matsui (CA-5), will help us release the full report next week.
Bicycling and walking advocates are working hard to further improve the Senate bill with the Cardin-Cochran Amendment to provide local control over small transportation projects. Visit America Bikes to keep up on this important amendment.
Just before the transportation bill heated up, Representative Frank LoBiondo (NJ-2, R) signed on as a co-sponsor to HR 1780, the Safe and Complete Streets Act. We're thrilled he responded to the many requests he received from AARP members in his state, and hope he'll do what he can to ensure this important safety measure becomes law.
Momentum Continues at State Level
While the fight for a more thorough understanding of the ways Americans get around continues on Capitol Hill, action at the state level demonstrates the desire for a Complete Streets approach -- and an on-going need to ensure that desire becomes reality on our communities' streets. Bills in Rhode Island and West Virginia have found support from AARP, and implementation progress continues in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Minnesota. Check out our blog for the details.
Quick Takes: Policy Adoption
2012 is off to a great start, with a new crop of Complete Streets policies in the last month:
Quick Takes: Policy Action
- A walking audit helped Fairhope, Alabama city officials decide how to best restripe recently repaved roadways to provide for all users. (AARP Alabama)
- City leaders in Baldwin Park, California have leveraged their well-written Complete Streets policy to boost their transportation budget and begin making changes on the ground. (Baldwin Park Patch)
- Bicycling in San Francisco continues to grow steadily, with a 71% increase since 2006. (Mayor Edwin M. Lee)
- The Complete Streets approach adopted by the Lee County, Florida Metropolitan Planning Organization could save the region's taxpayers nearly $60 million. (BikeWalkLee)
- Dunwoody, Georgia is taking advantage of upcoming street repaving projects to implement Complete Streets solutions at low-cost. (Dunwoody Crier)
- Decision makers in Honolulu are converting a four-lane route into two, with a center turn lane and bike lanes, to improve safety and reduce speeding. (La Canada Valley Sun)
- Residents of Baltimore are pressing the city reconsider its design of Mount Royal Avenue to facilitate safe bicycling, as supported by the city's 2010 resolution. (Baltimore Brew)
- Prince George's County, Maryland is considering an ordinance that would require developers to complete bicycling and walking connections -- just as they are required to provide adequate public roads to serve a development. The ordinance would help implement the County's Complete Streets policy, contained in their master transportation plan. (Coalition for Smarter Growth)
- After voting 6-1 against a trial road diet that could have improved safety for all users, the Birmingham, Michigan City Council asked that a more comprehensive, system-wide study be completed. (Observer & Eccentric)
- Add bus rapid transit to the list of tools that to develop a more balanced and complete transportation system in Nashville. (The Tennessean)
McCann Interviewed by NewPublicHealth
Coalition Executive Director Barbara McCann was interviewed by NewPublicHealth, an online resource from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focusing on public health news and updates from across the country, about the Complete Streets movement. She spoke of the movements' successes, its broad reach, and future activities.
Celebrating Success and Friendship at the Complete Streets Dinner
A fine time was had by all at our Second Annual Complete Streets Dinner, held last month in Washington, D.C. Over 50 people joined Coalition staff to share stories, celebrate the movement's success, and forge new friendships. Our featured speaker, Roy Kienitz, spoke of the game-changing movement we've helped create and the clear demand for transportation choice in states, cities, and towns across the country.
Coalition Partner Gresham, Smith and Partners Talks Implementation
Marshall Elizer, P.E., PTOE took to our blog this month to share some tips on how to realize your Complete Streets vision. Elizer is a Principal with Gresham, Smith and Partners, a Complete Streets Silver Partner.
Complete Streets on the Road
Our Workshop Instructors and Speakers Bureau have a busy month lined up. Ryan Snyder and Tom von Schrader led a workshop in Edina, Minnesota with a sustainable streets twist, made possible through support from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. Through a partnership with Smart Growth America, we sent Jeff Reigner and Kristin Bennett to Deerfield Beach, Florida to lead a full-day workshop. Keep an eye on our blog for more opportunities to hear from our corps of Complete Streets experts when they're in your community.
COMPLETE STREETS NEWS
AARP Introduces "Roads Scholar" Blog
Coalition Steering Committee member AARP has invited Dan Burden, a long-time Complete Streets ally, to post about transportation issues on their national blog. One of his first pieces makes the case for Complete Streets as a necessity for all generations: "If we invest in complete streets now, then not only will we all be happier and healthier as we age, but one day our children will thank us -- especially if they don't have to drive across town, or even a few blocks, to help us across the street."
New York Times Highlights Link Between Street Design and Health
The work of Dr. Richard J. Jackson, professor and chairman of environmental health sciences at the University of California, Los Angeles, was highlighted in a January 30 article on the ways our "built environment" -- our streets, houses, offices and everything in between -- negatively affects health. The inability to travel by foot, bike, or public transportation was noted as one reason for rising chronic diseases. A February 6 article takes that concept local, discussing the ways communities have improved transportation infrastructure for pedestrians, bicyclists, and public transportation customers to help residents get routine physical activity.
Quick Takes: Complete Streets Talk Across the Country
- A Complete Streets approach is being taken on two streets up for redesign in Fairbanks, Alaska. (Fairbanks Daily News-Miner)
- With funding from local hospitals, a new initiative in Gloucester, Massachusetts will promote walking and a Complete Streets approach. (Boston Globe)
- Rod Fournier of the Duluth, Minnesota Transit Authority discusses the benefits of a Complete Streets policy for people taking public transportation in the region. (The Boarding Zone)
- Missouri residents and leaders take to a video to discuss the benefits of safe, sustainable, complete streets.
- With a grant from the ACHIEVE program, Great Falls and Cascade County, Montana will begin working toward Complete Streets policy adoption. (Great Falls Tribune)
- The Las Vegas region is looking to get more bike-, pedestrian-, and transit-friendly with Complete Streets, and a newly released video explains how.
Active Transportation in Rural Communities and Small Towns
A new report from the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy busts the myth that the only people walking or biking to work, school, or other destinations are those that live in major urban areas. In rural communities and small towns, residents bike and walk almost as much (and in a few cases, more) as residents of cities and inner suburbs.
New Report Offers Insight into Bicycling and Walking Across the Country
The Alliance for Biking & Walking just released its 2012 Benchmarking Report, which compiles data on biking and walking from all 50 states and 51 largest U.S. cities, including information on bicycling and walking levels; safety; public health indicators; economic impact; and more. The reader-friendly report is an essential resource and tool for government officials, advocates, and transportation professionals. Download your free copy today.
Improving Pedestrian Safety at Intersections
Signalized Intersection Enhancements that Benefit Pedestrians -- Making America a Great Place to Walk, new report from America Walks summarizes a wide array of potential pedestrian-friendly treatments for signalized intersections. Prepared by Complete Streets Partner firm Fehr & Peers, the report will help decision-makers, planners, engineers, and citizens better understand the array of intersection enhancements that can improve pedestrian safety and convenience.
Fourth Round of TIGER Funding Available
On January 31, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood announced the availability of funding under a fourth round of the popular TIGER discretionary grant program. TIGER 2012 will make $500 million available for diverse surface transportation projects having a significant impact on the nation, a metropolitan area, or region. The highly successful -- and consistently oversubscribed -- TIGER program rewards projects based on criteria that include safety, economic competitiveness, livability, environmental sustainability, state of repair and short-term job creation. Many projects previously funded have fully integrated public transportation and non-motorized facilities to create complete streets. Pre-applications are due February 20 and applications are due March 19.
Apply for the 2012 EPA National Award for Smart Growth Achievement
The application period for the 11th annual National Award for Smart Growth Achievement, offered by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, is now open. The competition is open to public- and private-sector entities that have successfully used smart growth principles to improve communities. Applications are due April 6.
Webinar: Model Design Manual for Living Streets
The Model Design Manual for Living Streets provides a template for local jurisdictions to begin updating their existing design guidance. On February 29, join Ryan Snyder, president of Coalition Partner firm Ryan Snyder Associates and the project coordinator for the manual, to learn what's in it, how to get it, and how to use it.
New Resource for Delaware Advocates
The Institute for Public Administration at the University of Delaware has issued a guide for local governments looking to use a Complete Streets policy approach. The guide includes information about the benefits of Complete Streets and specific strategies for communities across the state.
Registration Open for Weight of the National 2012
Weight of the Nation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's national conference on obesity prevention and control, will take place in Washington, D.C. from May 7 through 9. The conference includes a track on changing the built environment to improve health. Register by March 15 for the best rate.
"Experience has shown that our transportation challenges — including traffic congestion, vehicle pollution, and the high cost of driving — cannot be met simply by building more roads. And in the competition for jobs and economic development, businesses nationwide are looking for vibrant communities that provide a greater range of transportation choices."
-- Trip Pollard, director of the Land & Community Program at the Southern Environmental Law Center
"We're committed to advocating when we're redoing streets that we do it right, and right means a complete street."
-- Theresa Lubke, executive director of the Marion, Ohio YMCA
"We've oftentimes, in planning our streets, had kind of a one-size-fits-all kind of approach. I think this is fixing something, in fact, that may have been broken."
-- Councilor Blake Ewing, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Thank you to our Partners: