Complete Streets News — July 2016


Register for Street Lights — Join the National Complete Streets Coalition at Street Lights: Illuminating Implementation and Equity in Complete Streets, our first-ever Complete Streets conference, taking place on November 15, 2016 in Sacramento, CA. This day-long conference 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 together. Conference registration is $150 for National Complete Streets Coalition Partners and $195 for non-Partners. Become a Partner today and one complimentary registration is included!

A proposed rule at USDOT could support safer streets. Will it? — This April, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) proposed new requirements for how states and metro areas will have to measure traffic congestion—the first time the agency has ever proposed such a requirement. Measuring what America’s transportation dollars actually buy us is a great move. But the rule as it’s currently written would measure success in outdated ways, prioritizing fast driving speeds over all other modes of transportation and their associated benefits. Not every street should be designed for fast-moving cars. Sign the petition to tell USDOT to change their proposed rule.

Incentivizing Complete Streets in Massachusetts — Last month we hosted an online discussion about the incentive programs that encourage adoption of Complete Streets policies in Massachusetts. Attendees learned how Massachusetts developed their new Complete Streets Funding Program and how this model can be used to incentivize and fund Complete Streets projects in other states. The webinar was hosted by advocates from the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, the Massachusetts Public Health Association, Massachusetts Department of Transportation, and the National Complete Streets Coalition. Watch the recording here.

Talking #MoveEquity — Streets and transportation programs and projects are required by law to take into consideration the needs of people with disabilities—but in reality, people with vision, hearing, and mobility disabilities are often shortchanged by planning and street design. This week, the National Complete Streets Coalition joined the Safe Routes to School National Partnership and five co-hosts for a #MoveEquity tweet chat to discuss transportation equity. The conversation touched on how those with disabilities can have safe and accessible biking, walking, rolling, and public transit options, and explored how equity for people with disabilities intersects with race, class, and other aspects of identity. View the Storify recap here.

Complete Streets at Ranger Camp —This month Coalition Director Emiko Atherton joined the Bureau of Good Roads for Ranger Camp 2016, an interactive summer session for kids focusing on transportation engineering and urban planning. Students participated in a Complete Streets Gallery Day, making small-scale versions of Complete Streets and talking about the wide uses of streets and how best to accommodate all modes of transportation. Ranger Camp 2016 Graduation concluded the session, with an interactive Pokémon GO Complete Streets challenge.

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.


Introducing the new — In December, Smart Growth America (SGA) announced a new initiative to help communities across the country advance transit-oriented development (TOD) projects to grow their economies, achieve their social equity goals, and improve quality of life for everyone. The initiative is designed to help elected officials, municipal staff, advocates, developers, transportation professionals, and urban planners discover new ideas, connect with one another and, ultimately, build great projects. As part of the initiative, SGA launched, an online hub for national information and ideas that will help users develop outstanding TOD projects. The new site includes a dynamic database of leading research on TOD, information about funding and financing options for TOD projects, and opportunities for TOD professionals to connect with one another.

Unpacking an alternative performance measure — USDOT’s draft rule, which will govern how states and metro areas measure and address congestion, would define “success” in outdated ways. In a webinar on Wednesday, July 13, Transportation for America’s policy team discussed alternative measures for congestion and unpacked the proposal that they are submitting to USDOT for consideration, which was developed in collaboration with MPOs, transit agencies, state DOTs, and advocates throughout the country. Missed the webinar? Watch the recording.

Falling Forward: A Guide to the FAST Act — Last week, Transportation for America launched a guide to the FAST Act, covering the shortcomings, omissions, and opportunities in the federal transportation law that sets policy and funding for transportation until the year 2020. In 2015, Congress adopted the first long-term surface transportation law in more than a decade, the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. While there were positive changes, the FAST Act doubled down on the status quo of federal transportation policy and failed to make virtually any of the changes so urgently needed by the rapidly urbanizing and changing country. Download a copy of the guide and view the report release presentation.

5 Questions for Florida Transportation Secretary Billy Hattaway — In 2011 and then again in 2014, four metropolitan areas in Florida—namely, Orlando, Tampa, Jacksonville and Miami—ranked among the five most dangerous places in the U.S. to be a pedestrian or bicyclist. Since then, the Florida Department of Transportation has worked to develop its first-ever statewide strategic safety plan for walking and bicycling. These efforts have been led by Transportation Secretary Billy Hattaway, who aims to train transportation planners and engineers in walk-bike-friendly road design and is working to revise the technical documents and guidelines that are used when roads are being constructed anew or redesigned. This month, AARP sat down with Hattaway to learn more about his efforts on Complete Streets in Florida.

U.S. Traffic Fatalities Rising Fast — Traffic fatalities in America hit a seven-year high in 2015, with pedestrians and cyclists accounting for a disproportionate share of the alarming increase, according to preliminary data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Last year, 35,200 people were killed in traffic—a 7.7 percent increase over 2014 and the worst death toll since 2008. The number of people killed while walking or biking is rising even faster. Pedestrian deaths shot up 10 percent last year and bicyclist deaths 13 percent—more than other types of victims, according to NHTSA. Learn more in an analysis by Streetsblog.

America’s Walking Renaissance — America Walks and the Every Body Walk! Collaborative are excited to announce the release of a new book, America’s Walking Renaissance. The book examines how nine cities, suburbs, and towns across the U.S. are getting back on their feet to embrace walking and become more walkable. The book also highlights the hard work being done by passionate individuals to encourage more people to walk and to create more walkable places. Walking is the gateway to increased physical activity, and a stimulus to safer, more livable and equitably prosperous communities.

Pricing Bike Share — This spring, NACTO hosted a webinar to learn about and discuss innovative pricing options included in practitioners’ guide “Can Monthly Passes Improve Bike Share Equity?”, which takes evidence from bike share systems and other industries to show that lower upfront costs and successful marketing may be the key to equitably reaching as many people as possible. NACTO was joined by Bicycle Transit Systems, who presented on Philadelphia’s methods for reaching low-income and unbanked individuals through cash payment options and their new subsidized access pass, including the way their strategies have evolved based on experience and ongoing community input.

Help improve the Bicycle Friendly State program — The League of American Bicyclists is excited to launch a new Bicycle Friendly State survey this fall. Before launching the survey, The League is offering an opportunity to provide feedback on the questions asked to ensure the survey is the best possible tool for the Bicycle Friendly State ranking and the Alliance for Biking and Walking’s Benchmarking Report. Please follow this link to give feedback on the first group of questions released for comment.


The South Windsor, CT town council adopted a Complete Streets policy this week with the intention of making roads in town safer. The policy will widen sidewalks and increase the number of bike lanes, as well as increase road signs, create shared use paths for walkers and bike riders, install crosswalks, and rehabilitate roads. The policy aims to make roads more convenient and comfortable for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists. “The Complete Streets policy is a way for all of us here and there to leave a lasting legacy as a town,” resident Rob O’Connor said. “It’s an all-around policy for walkers and drivers, for all those living in the community. Future planners and future policymakers will pull this up when they’re ready to build.”

Advocates for users of non-motorized transportation have won a victory in Kalamazoo County, MI. Commissioners approved a Complete Streets resolution in a nine-to-one vote on this month, which calls for planning the county’s streets so they are accessible to all legal users. Supporters say that makes the county more inclusive and raises the quality of life. Bike Friendly Kalamazoo founder Paul Selden called the resolution a “landmark” and told the commission that Complete Streets means targeted changes. “Not sidewalks in every corn field. But stated in a positive way, where they make the most sense. In front of schools, for example,” he commented.

Pinellas County, FL board members approved a Complete Streets program last week and a pilot project to show how it will work. The goal will be to develop a concept that would eventually transform a stretch of road from one inhospitable to pedestrians and bicyclists into one that’s safe and inviting for cars, pedestrians, bicycles, and other forms of travel. The West Bay stretch is unwelcoming to bicyclists because there are no bike lanes on portions of the road. Nor are there any medians, or refuge areas, for pedestrians crossing the road near cars that are traveling above 30 miles per hour.

Walkability in the downtown area and having streets capable of efficiently accommodating more motorists are some of the focal points for city officials when designing plans for Lake Charles, LA’s urban core. Earlier this month, the City Council took more steps to ensure downtown evolves into an easily navigable area for all travelers by passing an ordinance allowing Swift and Associates, in conjunction with Architects Southwest, to develop a Complete Streets Initiative for the Lakefront Downtown Development District and surrounding area. The endeavor is anticipated to cost the city no more than $12,800. City officials said it will help prioritize future road projects downtown.

Last month, Massachusetts House lawmakers passed transportation legislation focused on highways, small bridges, and a municipal grant program. The bill authorizes $750 million for both federal-aid interstate and non-interstate highway projects, and $50 million for a new program to repair small non-federal aid bridges that are 20 feet or less in length. In addition to the funding in any one highway district, the Complete Streets Initiative was turned into a municipal grant program aiming to enhance safety and accessibility for multi-model transportation including transportation geared towards pedestrians and cyclists. The qualifications include a training program; adopting a Complete Streets by-law subject to a public hearing; and creating a Complete Streets Prioritization plan.

The Urbandale, IA City Council approved a Complete Streets Policy this month. The policy is expected to encourage development of streets that accommodate all modes of transportation including walking, bicycling, driving, or riding public transit. Features of Complete Streets can include sidewalks, recreation trails, shared lane markings, bike lanes, paved shoulders, pedestrian crossings and signals, signs, street furniture, and transit facilities. This policy has the potential to enhance current and future business corridors to allow greater flexibility for Urbandale employees to travel to and from work and throughout the Metro.

The Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) of Washoe County, NV has big plans for remodeling streets. Last week, RTC adopted the Complete Streets Master Plan, which aims at turning streets into Complete Streets in order to enable safe access to all members of the community. According to RTC, changes are determined by community outreach and are specifically designed to fit the needs of users. Last October, RTC held a community workshop to develop the Complete Streets Master Plan. Members of the community submitted recommendations for changes to many streets, and almost all of the proposed changes included adding bike lanes. “We have the studies on hand and have an idea of what the community wants out there,” said Joe Harrington, RTC’s public information officer.

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