Today’s webinar: The Role of Public Health in Complete Streets— What’s the connection between public health and Complete Streets? And how can professionals in public health and transportation work together to create streets that are safe and convenient for a variety of active transportation choices? Join the National Complete Streets Coalition today, February 15, 2017 from 1:00-2:00 PM EST for “The Role of Public Health in Complete Streets”, the first event in our new webinar series. Co-hosts Voices for Healthy Kids and the American Public Health Association will join the Coalition in exploring all these questions and more.
Five things we learned at South Florida’s Safe Streets Summit — Last month, the National Complete Streets Coalition joined the South Florida Safe Streets Summit, an annual conference co-hosted by the metropolitan planning organizations of Broward, Palm Beach, and Miami-Dade counties. The day was jam-packed with informative and inspirational presentations by local elected officials, planners, authors, professors, and transportation advocates, and Emiko Atherton, Director of the National Complete Streets Coalition, delivered the keynote address. Here are five things we learned during the event.
Welcome to USDOT, Secretary Chao — Last month, the Senate voted to confirm Elaine Chao as the next Secretary of Transportation. Chao already has experience running a federal agency, and has made clear that safety will be a priority for her time as transportation secretary. We think that’s fantastic—especially if she means making streets safer for people walking and biking. We’re sending a letter to introduce ourselves to Secretary Chao, and to encourage her to make streets safer for everyone no matter their age, ability, race, income, or how they chose to travel. Will you add your name?
Steering Committee Spotlight: Voices for Healthy Kids —The National Complete Streets Coalition is just that—a coalition—and our success is made possible by our many partner organizations. Voices for Healthy Kids is the newest member of our Steering Committee and we’re proud to welcome them. We sat down with Stephanie Vaughn, Marketing Manager at Voices for Healthy Kids, to learn more about their work and what drives their commitment to Complete Streets. Read the full interview here.
Send us your Complete Streets policies — Has your community passed a Complete Streets policy? The National Complete Streets Coalition is collecting city, county, regional, and state policies for documentation in our Policy Atlas and Inventory and our Best Complete Streets Policies reports. Any policy passed before December 31, 2016 may be considered for our Best Complete Streets Policies of 2016 report. Please send a PDF copy of your policy to Mary Eveleigh.
Complete Streets lessons in central Florida — Ever since the first edition of Dangerous by Design came out in 2009, Florida has had the dubious distinction of having the highest rate of people being struck and killed by cars while walking of any state in the nation. Over the past nine months, Smart Growth America, in partnership with the Winter Park Health Foundation, has worked with municipalities and agencies in Central Florida to develop a series of recommendations about how to change land use and transportation decision-making practices and culture to make the region’s streets safer. While the recommendations are specific to Central Florida, they are ideas that any community can learn from.
Empty Spaces: Real parking needs at TODs — Last month, we released Empty Spaces, new research looking at the real parking needed at five transit-oriented developments (TODs). The report, produced in partnership the University of Utah, looks at how much less parking is required at TODs than standard engineering guidelines suggest, and how many fewer vehicle trips are generated than those guidelines estimate. As part of the kickoff of that event, we hosted an online webinar to discuss the findings in more detail. To learn more, download the full report.
Walking College Fellowship applications are open — America Walks is now accepting applications for 2017 Walking College Fellowships during the month of February. The deadline for submitting an application is February 28, 2017 at 8:00 PM EST. The Walking College is an interactive, online educational program for walkable community advocates. Each year, Walking College Fellowships are awarded to community change agents working alone, in organizations, or in professions such as public health, planning, transportation, or education.
Applications open for Active Transportation Technical Assistance — If you are working to make streets safer or to increase access to schools and parks so that children and families in your community can have more opportunities for physical activity, the Safe Routes to School National Partnership can help. The National Partnership is offering long-term, free technical assistance to disadvantaged communities in California that are working to obtain funding to support walking, bicycling, and Safe Routes to School. Applications are due February 27, 2017 at 8:00 PM EST. Learn more and apply today.
Development of a Pedestrian Demand Estimation Tool — There is growing support to improve the quality of the walking environment and make investments to promote pedestrian travel. Such efforts often require planning tools to estimate levels of pedestrian demand. Despite this interest and need, current forecasting tools, particularly regional travel demand models, often fall short. Recent research by Portland State University attempts to use new data to develop robust pedestrian planning tools for regional travel demand modeling. Researchers constructed models to predict the number of walk trips generated with spatial acuity, using a new measure of the pedestrian environment and a fine-grained level of analysis.
The Niskayuna, NY Town Board unanimously adopted a resolution implementing a Complete Streets policy at its January meeting. Under the new policy, future road construction and reconstruction projects will give equal consideration to bicyclists, pedestrians, and transit. “Implementing the policy will improve the pedestrian and bike plan for people to move around in the community,” said Complete Streets committee member William Chapman. “We want people to be able to get from A to B either by walking or on a bicycle, as they are able. That gets people out of doors, which is a benefit to physical and mental health.”
Massachusetts Department of Transportation awarded a total of $5.5 million to fifteen communities last month as part of the state’s Complete Streets Funding Program. Funding is to be used for local, multi-modal infrastructure improvement projects identified in each municipality’s Complete Streets Prioritization Plan. Among the awardees, the city of Newton, MA will dedicate its $400,000 funding towards the installation of a traffic signal, curb extensions, new sidewalks, wheelchair ramps, accessible pedestrian signals, bicycle detection, signage, and pavement markings.
The Oakland, CA Department of Transportation (OakDOT) has released a Complete Streets progress report on the city’s Telegraph Avenue. In April 2016, OakDOT made changes to the layout of Telegraph Avenue including eight high-visibility pedestrian crosswalks, nine blocks of parking-protected bike lanes, dedicated lanes for bicyclists, and clearly demarcated pedestrian crossings separate from different streams of traffic. As a result, OakDOT has seen fewer collisions and increased perception of safety among the most vulnerable users of the street.
The Bowling Green, OH City Council approved inaugural Complete Streets treatments along two city roadways this month. The improvements, which will include sharrows on Conneaut Avenue but no bike lanes, will be undertaken alongside upcoming pavement work. During a Transportation and Safety Committee meeting prior to council, the three members recommended to council a package that included $529,393.75 for the milling and repaving work already planned on Conneaut and Fairview avenues, as well as two out of three alternate Complete Streets projects totaling an additional $32,413.80.
Milburn, NJ hosted a “Bike&Walk Millburn” informational forum at the Millburn Free Public Library last month. James Sinclair of the New Jersey Bicycle & Pedestrian Resource Center outlined the goals of a Complete Streets program, including traffic calming and increasing the vitality of a downtown business district. The program should offer a variety of travel choices, he said, adding, “Fifty-two percent [of those surveyed] want to bike more than they do now.” Jessica Lubas of the TransOption organization promoted the Safe Routes to School program. “Our mission is to get more children walking to school and make it safer,” Lubas told the audience.