Complete Streets News — August 2016


Announcing the full agenda for Street Lights — Interested in attending our Street Lights: Illuminating Implementation and Equity in Complete Streets conference? The National Complete Streets Coalition has just released the event’s full agenda. Taking place on November 15, 2016 in Sacramento, CA, Street Lights will be a chance for transportation planners and engineers, community, equity, and health advocates, local officials, and Complete Streets practitioners to share ideas, brainstorm solutions, and celebrate the success of the Complete Streets movement nationwide. If you haven’t already, register to join us in November. Conference registration is $150 for Coalition partners, and $195 for non-partners. Once you register, book your hotel room at a discounted rate in our block at the Citizen Hotel. A limited quantity of rooms are available.

Last chance to tell USDOT: Support safer streets — The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) is currently considering proposed requirements for how states and metro areas will have to measure traffic congestion—the first time the agency has ever proposed such a requirement. Public comments on the rule close this week; take action today and tell USDOT to change their proposed rule.

Why Huntsville, AL wants to build more Complete Streets — In June, Smart Growth America went to Huntsville, AL to hold a Complete Streets workshop with local leaders there. Emiko Atherton, Director of the National Complete Streets Coalition, and John Robert Smith, Senior Policy Advisor for Smart Growth America, joined city planners, engineers, advocates, and members of the public to discuss tools and strategies to develop a Complete Streets policy. See the workshop presentation.

Help us reach 1,000 Complete Streets policies — Has your community passed a new Complete Streets policy? The National Complete Streets Coalition is collecting city, county, regional, and state policies for documentation in our Policy Atlas, Policy Inventory, and our Best Complete Streets reports—and we are only a few away from 1,000 polices! For inclusion in these resources, please send a PDF copy of your policy to Mary Eveleigh.


Helping rural places use smart growth strategies — Many rural communities have seen farmland eroded by encroaching development, or are losing young residents to places with more amenities and greater opportunities. Whether drained by sprawl or struggling to compete, how can rural communities address these challenges while remaining true to their unique character? Smart Growth America’s new Rural Development program is designed to help local leaders strengthen rural economies through a smart growth approach to development.

A full list of the walkable neighborhoods included in “Foot Traffic Ahead” — In June, Smart Growth America released Foot Traffic Ahead 2016, new research that looks at walkable urban development in the nation’s largest metro areas. Last month we released the full list of walkable urban places (WalkUPs) analyzed in the report.

New federal grant to reduce bicycle and pedestrian fatalities — December 2015’s FAST Act includes a new grant program aimed at decreasing bicyclist and pedestrian fatalities and injuries. States where the number of bicyclist and pedestrian traffic deaths exceeds 15 percent of total annual statewide traffic deaths will be eligible for funding. Based on 2013 traffic fatality data, 22 states are eligible for these funds. Find out how your state ranks in bicycle and pedestrian fatalities and grant eligibility.

Making equitable bike-sharing possible — Bike-share has an equity problem. In Boston, for example, nearly 43 percent of white residents live in proximity to bike-share stations, versus only 7 percent of black residents. And yet lower-income households represent the majority of cyclists in America. A short documentary by STREETFILMS explores that question through interviews with transportation officials, community leaders, and bike advocates who attended the Better Bike Share conference in Philadelphia this past June.

Research in Action: Improving Pedestrian Safety Crashes involving pedestrians are a major safety concern in Florida. With pedestrians accounting for approximately one in every five traffic-related fatalities, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is tackling improving pedestrian safety proactively by attempting to identify potentially problematic intersections before a pedestrian crash occurs. FDOT’s recent report examines whether statewide patterns be identified, which locations are proving the most problematic, what features of an intersection contribute to a pedestrian crash, and what can be done to mitigate these risks.

Safety-critical dynamics in multi-modal transportation systems — Recent mobility trends reveal that travel is becoming increasingly multi-modal in nature. One of the major challenges associated with efficiently designing and planning for a safe multi-modal environment is a limited understanding of multi-modal traffic behavior. A recent study proposes the development of a comprehensive report card of safety-critical multimodal dynamics of a signalized intersection.


The Normal, IL Town Council unanimously approved a Complete Streets resolution this month. The policy establishes rules for making streets and sidewalks accessible to people using any form of transportation. City Manager Mark Peterson said budget is a consideration when implementing a Complete Streets upgrade and that the town will make an effort to follow the Complete Streets model with any new projects. Some of the projects following Complete Streets guidelines have already been implemented as part of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan and Uptown 2.0 plan.

Upton, MA Selectmen have agreed to adopt a Complete Streets policy in an effort to make the town’s roadways more accessible and efficient in certain areas. “In 2006, the state adopted the Complete Streets policy and currently the state is trying to encourage towns and communities to adopt a policy,” Selectmen Chairman Jim Brochu said at the Board of Selectmen meeting last Tuesday. Town Manager Blythe Robinson said the process would involve “proposing a potential bylaw that would identify possibly a couple streets here in Upton where the Complete Streets process, when we go to rehabbing and working on those streets, may come into play.”

Last week, Altoona, IA became the ninth local city in Iowa to adopt a Complete Streets policy, which supports roadway design that is friendly to walkers, bicyclists, motorists, and other travelers. The Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization developed the model policy that area communities have adapted for their own use. Des Moines, Carlisle, Johnston, Norwalk, Pleasant Hill, Urbandale, Windsor Heights, and West Des Moines also have approved such measures. Read more about Iowa’s policies.

The Saranac Lake, NY village Board of Trustees adopted a Complete Streets policy this month, after opting to remove document’s capacity to act as a law. The board agreed to review the policy in a year to see if it has been effective. As it was originally drafted, the village law required a Complete Streets checklist to be filled out for every infrastructure project the village undertakes. The proposed law also allowed for exceptions when Complete Streets standards are found to be “unnecessary unduly cost prohibitive, or inappropriate because it would be contrary to public safety.”

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker last week signed into law legislation providing $50 million for a bridge program, expansion of the Complete Streets Funding Program and authorization for $750 million in federal highway aid. The legislation also provides to the Complete Streets Funding Program up to $50,000 for technical assistance and $400,000 in construction costs for communities to plan and incorporate best practices in the design and build of “safe modes” of public travel. The program was launched with $12.5 million in funding earlier this year.

This month, the Tifton, GA City Council heard a proposal from Elliott Caldwell, Complete Streets coordinator for Georgia Bikes. During his presentation, Caldwell noted, “Complete Streets are streets for everybody,” and that crashes are going down in areas where Complete Streets policies have been implemented. Caldwell told council members that to implement the Complete Streets policy, they request that communities spend a small portion of their transportation budget. He mentioned different levels of state and local funding possibilities for resurfacing projects.

Adams, MA Selectmen plan to adopt the state’s Complete Streets program and focus possible funds on the southern Route 8 corridor. Director of Community Development Donna Cesan encouraged the board last month to adopt the state Department of Transportation’s program that awards qualifying communities funds to improve streets, sidewalks, and intersections to better transportation for all travel modes. Selectman Arthur Harrington stated, “this is huge in the character of our community, and we need to do things the right way because we are responsible for the future of our kids, grandkids, and everybody else and making this a safer place to live.”

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