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 Unanimously Approved in Lawrence
- Quick Takes: Policy Adoption
- Quick Takes: Policy Action
- Federal Policy Update
- Coalition Releases Annual Report
- AARP and WHO Launch Age-Friendly Communities Program
- April Offers Opportunities to Celebrate Complete Streets
COMPLETE STREETS NEWS
- In Honor of Powell Calhoun and Donna Williams
- Canada Is All About Complete Streets
- Quick Takes: Complete Streets Talk Across the Country
- Americans Driving Less, Riding Transit and Biking More
- The Life and Death of Urban Highways
- How Healthy Is Your County?
- Advocate for Accessible Transportation
- Innovative Bicycle Treatments Working in Austin
- CNU20 Is Almost Here
COMPLETE STREETS POLICY PROGRESS
Complete Streets Unanimously Approved in Lawrence
City Commissioners unanimously approved a Complete Streets policy for Lawrence, Kansas on March 27. The policy includes several activities to ensure its implementation, including updating street design guidance as necessary and creating periodic reports on progress made. A hearty round of applause goes out to the Lawrence Complete Streets Committee, a multidisciplinary group of people who built partnerships, crafted the language, and created a fantastic public outreach effort to garner support for the concept.
Quick Takes: Policy Adoption
- Home to Michigan State University, the City of East Lansing adopted a Complete Streets ordinance on March 20.
- With a unanimous vote, Maui, Hawaii County Council approved a Complete Streets resolution.
- Greenwood, Mississippi, a city of 15,000 residents, became the first in the Delta to adopt a Complete Streets policy on March 29.
- Quickly becoming a national leader among MPOs in active transportation and healthy community planning, the Mid-America Regional Council, covering the Kansas City, Missouri area, formally adopted a stand-alone Complete Streets policy on March 27.
- On March 20, New Rochelle, New York adopted a Complete Streets resolution to support its livability and sustainability efforts.
- A Complete Streets resolution was approved in Ninety Six, South Carolina, a western South Carolina community that has a population just shy of 2,000.
- AARP Rhode Island's Julia Valles testified in favor of the legislature's Complete Streets bill; the bill was tabled for further study.
Quick Takes: Policy Action
- The Oregon Department of Transportation is putting muscle behind its Complete Streets approach, reorganizing the department to emphasize the diversity of users it serves and integrating programs and funding sources to support the selection and construction of Complete Streets projects. Watch our website for more details soon.
- The Planning Panel of Palm Beach, Florida recommended further analysis of a road widening plan to better meet the community's needs and Complete Streets approach. (BikeWalkLee)
- With a new Complete Streets policy on the books, Oak Park, Illinois is already looking to put the approach into practice on one of its busiest streets. (Oak Park River Forest Patch)
- This radio interview features a panel of folks, including the city's Pedestrian Program Manager, discusses how they are working to make Charlotte, North Carolina a livable, growing city with transportation options for all.
- Mayor Nutter used Philadelphia's Complete Streets approach to add new category of street users on April Fool's Day: texting pedestrians. And NRDC's Kaid Benfield recently highlighted a similar innovation.
- A repaving project on Williston Road through South Burlington, Vermont is among the first to pilot a road diet following the state's new Complete Streets law. (Burlington Free Press)
Federal Policy Update
Though the Senate passed a bi-partisan surface transportation authorization bill in mid-March, the House pushed its deliberations back yet again, passing a 3-month clean (that is, no changes) extension to the current transportation law. That extension was quickly passed by the Senate and signed by the President. We continue to support the Senate's bill, which has a Complete Streets provision, and work with Congressional leaders to advance a federal Complete Streets policy. Remember to let your Senators and Representatives know that you support that goal too -- write to them today using our quick online form.
Coalition Releases Annual Report
With its 2011 Annual Report (.pdf), the National Complete Streets Coalition offers a snapshot of the phenomenal success of the Complete Streets movement. The report highlights how the Coalition has helped to lead the movement and respond to its changing needs in 2011, celebrating the many milestones the year brought: at least 125 new policies on the books; attention from national media outlets such as NPR; the growth of the Coalition's membership and Partners program; and its efforts to provide targeted assistance for communities large and small.
AARP and WHO Launch Age-Friendly Communities Program
Senior Administration officials, including Beth Osborne from the U.S. Department of Transportation, last week helped AARP launch its Age-Friendly Communities collaboration with the World Health Organization. The new program will start out working with communities in seven states and the District of Columbia that agree to address eight factors essential to healthy aging, including transportation. Complete Streets is expected to be one of the primary policy initiatives communities will choose to tackle.
COMPLETE STREETS NEWS
April Offers Opportunities to Celebrate Complete Streets
With National Landscape Architecture Month events happening for a few more weeks, and last week's National Public Health Week and National Walking Day, April is a great time to celebrate the partnerships that are foundational to the Complete Streets movement, and the different roles every organization plays in advancing it. It also should remind us that "Walking Day" is every day for many people, and our streets are too often not designed for safe travel by foot.
In Honor of Powell Calhoun and Donna Williams
The next time someone refers to a sidewalk as a too-expensive "amenity," think about Powell Calhoun and Donna Williams. They were fatally hit by a driver as they traveled along a frontage road in Jackson, Mississippi that had no sidewalks where he could push her wheelchair. We could quote statistics about pedestrian deaths, but isn't the needless deaths of our neighbors enough evidence that we need Complete Streets that are safe for everyone?
Canada Is All About Complete Streets
The desire for Complete Streets isn't relegated to those of us in the U.S. -- our northern neighbors are busy creating safe, comfortable streets for all users too. Last week, a Transportation Summit in Hamilton, Ontario focused on Complete Streets. Edmonton, Alberta has launched an online discussion on how the city should create Complete Streets. In her State of the City speech, Waterloo, Ontario's Mayor praised the Complete Streets approach employed on a route. And, in Toronto, the 2012 Complete Streets Forum, coming up later this month, is already sold out (!), and a new tool shows how six different streets in the city would look if they were made to be more 'complete'.
Quick Takes: Complete Streets Talk Across the Country
- Despite early support for a Complete Streets approach from the Public Works Director and Mayor, community opposition in Russellville, Arkansas means a four-lane route will remain 'incomplete'.
- Complete Streets will be coming to Manatee County, Florida, thanks to a grant from the American Public Health Association. (Sarasota Herald-Tribune)
- All Aboard Ohio's executive director is asking if the state's transportation policies are doing more harm than good. (Rustwire)
- In case you haven't been paying attention, Model D covers how -- and why -- Complete Streets fever is at full pitch across Michigan.
- Ten visionary actions to create Complete Streets from El Paso, Texas's exemplary transportation plan were highlighted in Better! Cities and Towns on National Walking Day.
- Dave Overstreet, public affairs director for AAA Washington, noted that folks can take transit, walk, or ride bikes to avoid the pain felt with rising gas prices. (Kitsap Sun)
Americans Driving Less, Riding Transit and Biking More
Americans have been driving less, reflecting changing transportation preferences -- especially among those aged 16 to 34. The report, Transportation and the New Generation: Why Young People are Driving Less and What it Means for Transportation Policy, from the U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund and the Frontier Group, shows that this drop in car travel isn't a temporary response to spiking gas prices. That younger group of Americans represents nearly 60% of the increase in public transit use, and they are riding their bikes 24% more than just eight years earlier.
The Life and Death of Urban Highways
A new report, The Life and Death of Urban Highways, describes the conditions under which it makes sense to build urban highways and when it makes sense to tear them down. Included case studies demonstrate social, economic, and environmental benefits when urban highways are reconsidered. Jointly produced by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy and EMBARQ, the report can be downloaded for free.
How Healthy Is Your County?
The just-released County Health Rankings allow you to compare your county to nearly every other county in all 50 states to see just how healthy residents are. The rankings, from the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, can be used to help identify challenges and take action to improve health.
Advocate for Accessible Transportation
Easter Seals PROJECT ACTION is hosting a webinar on April 25 to help disability advocates, transit professionals, and transportation planners learn to be effective advocates for accessible transportation at the local level. Register by April 23.
Innovative Bicycle Treatments Working in Austin
A study from the City of Austin found that some new, and some experimental, bicycle facilities were garnering positive results on the streets. Colored bicycle lanes prompted 74% of drivers to yield to bicyclists, where just 38% yielded before the lanes were installed. "Sharrows", which remind bicyclists and motorists to share the lane, kept cyclists further from parked cars too.
CNU20 Is Almost Here
The 20th annual Congress for the New Urbanism is quickly approaching! Taking place in West Palm Beach, Florida from May 9 to 12, CNU20 participants will discuss ways to advance high quality urbanism through an incremental, attainable approach and bring home tools to shape their communities into dynamic places. Register today!
"ODOT has long delivered multimodal services through our divisions. In the past, however, our modes were within their own silos in the agency's divisions. The challenge in front of us now, as we work to provide transportation options, is to create an organization that can speak with a holistic transportation voice and provide the transportation solutions that continue to move our state forward."
-- Director Matt Garrett, Oregon Department of Transportation
"Their message -- and it's one that everyone can endorse -- is that this city needs to get going with the transformation, and the adoption of the proposed 'Complete Streets' policy is necessary to build momentum."
-- Honolulu Star Advertiser editorial board
"Complete Streets make it easy to cross the street, walk the shops and bicycle to work."
-- Mayor Arvest Turner, Ninety Six, South Carolina
"Whether on foot, on bicycle, or in a car, people moving around the city were respectful of each other, and it worked…It was good to see the Complete Street concept in action."
-- Lori Donchak, Council member, San Clemente California
Thank you to our Partners: