You’re invited to the eighth annual Complete Streets dinner

You’re invited to join the National Complete Streets Coalition at our Eighth Annual Complete Streets Dinner, held on Tuesday, January 9, 2018 in Washington, DC. Conveniently scheduled during the 2018 Transportation Research Board meeting, this intimate and fun event brings together top Complete Streets professionals, policymakers, supporters, and friends to celebrate the successes of the Complete Streets movement in the last year.

Complete Streets

Introducing a brand new grading framework for Complete Streets policies

To conclude Complete Streets month at Smart Growth America, we’re proud to publish the brand new policy grading framework and scoring methodology. These changes come after our Steering committee voted to approve the framework in 2017. For months a group of national stakeholders, consisting of engineers, planners, researchers, and advocates, worked to revise the policy elements and truly raise the bar for what Complete Streets look like in practice. So it is only right that we spent the past month highlighting each of these revised elements and gaining a deeper understanding of the essence of Complete Streets moving forward.

Complete Streets

Policy #10: Moving policies forward requires strong implementation steps


Over the last decade, we’ve come to understand that a Complete Streets policy is only the first step to making streets safer and more accessible to everyone. We’ve revised the “Implementation steps” policy element to include increased accountability from jurisdictions and requirements to include equity and community engagement.

Complete Streets

Policy #9: Project selection criteria should prioritize active transportation

To most effectively implement them, a good Complete Streets policy must be fully integrated into the process for selecting transportation projects. And that process should focus on active transportation projects with a priority on underserved communities in order to reduce health, safety, and economic disparities.

Complete Streets

Policy #8: Performance measures: what gets measured, gets done

Performance measures exist to track and measure success in communities that have Complete Streets policies. The revised framework requires measures to expand beyond the usual metrics used such as the number of bike lanes. In Complete Streets policies performance measures should address categories like access, economy, environment, safety, and health. As well as, how implementation will impact communities of concern identified in the policy.

Complete Streets

Policy #7: Complete Streets must be designed to serve the current and future land use

We’ve raised the bar for this element of our Complete Streets policy framework to better account for land use and context. In our previous framework, we gave points to policies that simply mention community context in decision making. Now, the updated framework requires Complete Streets policies to integrate land use policies, plans, zoning ordinances, or equivalent documents from jurisdictions at all levels of government.

Complete Streets

Policy #6: Road design leads to real Complete Streets

A Complete Streets policy cannot be implemented without an understanding of how to improve the physical environment. Jurisdictions should prioritize appropriate design guidance into their policy and implementation plans. The way roads are designed can influence traffic speed, safety, comfort, and many other factors that affect all people who use the street. We’ve updated this policy element to require jurisdictions to adopt or design guidelines in addition to adopting a policy.

Complete Streets

Complete Streets News – November 2017

We’ve officially revised our policy grading rubric, known as the 10 Elements of a Complete Streets Policy. The Complete Streets movement has evolved since it began in 2004 to focus far more on implementation and equity, but the framework for grading the quality of policies hasn’t kept pace.

November is Complete Streets month at Smart Growth America; we are sharing a series of blog posts that cover and explain each of the 10 revised policy elements in some detail. The entire revised framework will be available on our website on November 30, 2017.

Read

Save the date! Eighth Annual Complete Streets Dinner — Conveniently scheduled during the 2018 Transportation Research Board meeting. This intimate and fun gathering brings together Complete Streets professionals, policymakers, supporters, and friends to celebrate the successes of the Complete Streets movement in the last year. This year’s dinner will be held Tuesday, January 9, 2018 from 6:00 PM – 9:00pm EST at Carmine’s in Washington, DC. Tickets will go on sale soon. For more information, contact Mae Hanzlik.

Complete Streets

Policy #5: Jurisdictions should coordinate with other agencies to create a Complete Streets network

The jurisdiction element addresses how agencies who may be responsible for building or maintaining roads can require outside parties to comply with the Complete Streets policy. Creating a Complete Streets network requires interagency coordination between government departments and partner agencies. We spoke to Byron Rushing, one of our Steering Committee members from the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals who shared his insight on why this element is crucial in Complete Streets policies.

Complete Streets

Policy #4: Complete Streets policies can have exceptions, as long as they’re clear and accountable

Effective Complete Streets policy implementation requires a process for exceptions to providing for all modes in each project. Exceptions should follow the Federal Highway Administration’s guidance on accommodating bicycle and pedestrian travel and identified best practices frequently used in existing Complete Streets policies. The Coalition believes these exceptions are appropriate with limited potential to weaken the policy. 

Complete Streets