Complete Streets News — January 2015

Photo by Dan Reed, via Flickr


The Innovative MPO — A new resource from Transportation for America showcases more than 100 real-world examples and 20 detailed case studies from MPOs leading innovative initiatives. Created as a companion to The Innovative DOT, the report relates how MPOs of all sizes have stretched public resources, leveraged data for smart investments, and advanced regional and economic development priorities. Read more >>

The Innovative DOT, third edition — In the face of falling revenues and shrinking budgets, Departments of Transportation across the country have substantially changed the way they do business. Smart Growth America and the State Smart Transportation Initiative have released the third edition of The Innovative DOT, a compendium of 34 best-practice approaches for state transportation officials. The 2015 edition adds 10 new case studies and other updates. Read more >>

Update: national safety performance measures — A directive in the 2015 federal Omnibus Appropriations Act passed in December requires the US DOT to establish and define a separate set of measures for non-motorized safety. Separating non-motorized users from motorized is important in creating transportation networks that are safe for all—and especially important when overall fatalities are down—but those bicycling are increasingly killed and those walking aren’t seeing improvements. Representative Larson (WA), Representative DeFazio (OR), and Delegate Holmes Norton (DC) have asked the Government Accountability Office to study the causes of non-motorized fatalities, including the influences of speeding and road design. Read more >>

2014’s best Complete Streets policies — Our annual report on the best Complete Streets policies of the last year will be released on February 10. Join our release-day webinar at 1 pm ET. Learn more >>


FHWA Road Diet Informational Guide — The Federal Highway Administration published an information guide to road diets as part of its bike-walk safety initiative. Road diets, also known as re-channelization or reconfiguration projects, are a proven safety countermeasure that most commonly reconfigures an undivided four-lane street into one with two through lanes, a center turn lane, and bicycle lanes. In addition to tips on determining good matches for road diet projects, the guide includes a comprehensive assessment of the research and practice supporting safety, operational, and quality of life considerations. Read more >>

National Equity Atlas — Newly launched, the National Equity Atlas provides data on demographic change, racial inclusion, and the economic benefits of equity for the largest 150 regions, all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the United States. Built by PolicyLink and the USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE), the Atlas helps users understand how their communities are changing and inform policies, plans, and strategies to advance equitable growth and investments. See more >>

Health and transportation case studies — Collaborations between state Departments of Transportation and public health departments in three states are featured in new case studies from America Walks. These histories of innovative partnerships from Massachusetts, Oregon, and Iowa include documentation of data-sharing, health impact assessment, and bringing together local and state-level partners. Read more >>

Unexpected results from study on walkability and socioeconomic factors — A study on the relationship between socioeconomic and built environment factors has revealed some interesting nuances. Researchers compared urban form and social indicators such as income, education levels, and racial composition across the United States. They found that disadvantaged neighborhoods had shorter block lengths and other features of a more walkable urban form. However, communities with large proportions of seniors and children—groups that stand to gain the most from a pedestrian friendly urban form—were less walkable. Read more >>


Oakland, CA’s Telegraph Avenue, which sees about 1,200 bicyclists per day, will soon host Oakland’s first protected bike lanes. The protected bike lanes are an initial step in the thoroughfare’s Complete Streets Plan, and were approved by a unanimous vote of the City Council. Read more >>

Kamehameha IV Road in Honolulu, HI is set for a major change, benefitting those walking, bicycling, and taking transit—proof of the island’s commitment to its 2012 Complete Streets policy. While maintaining on-street parking, a redesigned Kam IV will encourage slower speeds and provide dedicated space for bicycling. Read more >>

The Des Moines (IA) Metropolitan Planning Organization recently received a grant from the Wellmark Foundation’s Matching Assets to Community Health (MATCH) fund. The dollars will be used to provide incentives for local communities to adopt Complete Streets policies. Only 2 of the 17 communities in the MPO’s area have Complete Streets policies on the books. Read more >>

The city council in Wichita, KS has approved Wichita’s multimodal accommodation policy and street design guide. The polic y and design guide includes significant detail regarding integration of multimodal needs throughout the project development process, from definition of a project through ongoing operations. It also includes best practices and guidance for accommodating all users during construction and maintenance activities. Read more >>

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s first GreenDOT program report details the steps the state has taken to fulfill its vision for a sustainable transportation system. A 2012 implementation plan led to the creation of new policies, guides, and directives to invest in active transportation. A new performance management office closely tracks benchmarks on mode split, fuel consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and other indicators. Read more >>

In Montgomery County, MD, the six-lane Old Georgetown Road, running through a major mixed-use, transit-oriented redevelopment site, will soon be friendlier for people walking and bicycling. While initial designs for the highway postponed a lane reduction until traffic volumes decreased, community organizations pressed for the state transportation agency to build what they’d envisioned: a four-lane street with left turn bays, plentiful street trees, and more space for bicycling and walking. The State Highway Administration agreed to the reduction in width last month. Read more >>

New Complete Streets policies

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