Registration is now open 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!
Tell USDOT: Build inclusive and safe transportation options for all users — For the first time ever, the U.S. Department of Transportation has proposed requirements for how states and metro areas will have to measure traffic congestion. These new requirements will help us all understand what federal transportation dollars actually accomplish—an absolutely worthwhile goal. However, as it’s currently written the proposal would measure success in outdated ways, prioritizing fast driving speeds over the needs of other transportation users, including bicyclists and pedestrians. Tell USDOT to improve its proposed rule. Add your name to our petition and we’ll hand deliver it straight to the desk of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.
Webinar Recap: Massachusetts Complete Streets Incentives— This week 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 and Massachusetts Public Health Association, as well as Eileen Gunn, Program Manager for MassDOT Environmental Services, and Emiko Atherton, Director of the National Complete Streets Coalition.
Complete Streets workshops around the country — The National Complete Streets Coalition visited Dumfries, VA, Manassas Park, VA, Cullman, AL, and Huntsville, AL this month to lead workshops focused on Complete Streets policy development. Through hands-on training, our workshop instructors and Coalition staff worked to lay the foundations of a Complete Streets policy and establish model policy language. Learn more about hosting a Complete Streets workshop.
Send us your 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. For inclusion in these resources, please send a PDF copy of your policy to Mary Eveleigh.
Foot Traffic Ahead — There are 619 regionally significant, walkable urban places (or “WalkUPs”) in the nation’s 30 largest metro areas. Foot Traffic Ahead 2016, released by LOCUS in conjunction with the Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis at the George Washington University School of Business, looked at all of them. The new report ranks the country’s 30 largest metropolitan areas based on the amount of commercial and multi-family rental development in WalkUPs, and uses a series of forward-looking metrics to predict how walkable their future development might be. The research also uses metrics like housing costs, transportation costs, and access to jobs to understand the relationship between walkability and social equity.
Coming Soon: Amazing Place — For decades, communities offered companies tax breaks and subsidies to relocate there. This approach has lots of downsides. But perhaps the biggest problem for economic development officials now is that too often, this strategy simply doesn’t work. On Tuesday, June 28, Smart Growth America will release Amazing Place, which details how six cities are using a place-based approach to economic development. Register to join us for the online kickoff discussion about the new report.
Planning for a Healthier Future — Thanks to 2012’s MAP-21 legislation, all metro areas and states will soon be using a limited array of performance measures. While the in-progress federal requirements will cover a limited range of measures, Transportation for America is releasing a new resource to help metro areas find ways to use performance measures to improve public health, address social equity concerns, and advance environmental quality. Join Transportation for America today at 4:00 p.m. EDT for a special online discussion about the new report, including firsthand experience from some of the metro regions that participated in a related collaborative.
Grading the Walking Movement — Join America Walks, in partnership with the Safe Routes to School National Partnership and YMCA of the USA, for a webinar exploring the recently released 2016 State Report Cards. The Report Cards provide a snapshot of how supportive each state is of walking, bicycling, and physical activity for children and adults as of 2016. Attendees of the webinar will learn about the development of the State Report Cards and hear from two YMCA’s on how they plan to use the information to increase support for physical activity. Participants will also have the opportunity to engage in a discussion on how they can use the State Report Cards in their own communities.
Pursuing Equity in Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning — In recent years, equity has emerged as an important consideration for transportation officials working on developing connected multimodal systems that provide meaningful choices in transportation. A recently published paper for the FWHA helps transportation practitioners and decision-makers define transportation equity-related terms in the context of planning for bicycle and pedestrian facilities and programs. The paper also synthesizes and highlights recent research findings related to the travel needs of traditionally underserved populations and the role of pedestrian and bicycle planning in addressing equity concerns, and shares strategies, practices, and resources to address bicycle and pedestrian planning inequities.
Planning for Bike Share Connectivity to Rail Transit — Bike sharing can play a role in providing access to transit stations and then to final destinations, but early implementation of these systems in North America has been opportunistic rather than strategic. A recent study evaluates local intermodal plan goals using trip data and associated infrastructure such as transit stops and bike share station locations in Austin, TX, and Chicago, IL.
Understanding Pedestrian Behaviors and Traffic Controls — This March the Transportation Research Board recorded presentations that reveal pedestrian crossing behaviors at various density levels and turning vehicle maneuver patterns at signalized crosswalks based on video data collected in the U.S. and Japan. The purpose of these videos is to examine how pedestrians behave at crosswalks, where pedestrian-vehicle conflict points occur, and how trajectory paths are defined.
Minneapolis, MN, a city known for its bike lanes, now officially has a Complete Streets policy saying that walkers, cyclists, and drivers should be considered in street design. The city is far from the first to join the movement. But when the City Council approved the policy last month, Minneapolis took it a step further than most, giving priority to pedestrians, followed by cyclists and transit riders and, finally, drivers.
In Medford, MA, Mayor Stephanie M. Burke announced the MassDOT approval of the city’s Complete Streets Funding Program, which focuses on assisting cities and towns throughout the Commonwealth in order to enhance public safety for a network of users and make necessary infrastructure improvements across the city. Following the announcement made by the Baker-Polito administration, the City of Medford submitted a letter of intent to become a part of the Complete Streets community.
Both Bloomington, IL and Normal, IL are eyeing the Complete Streets concept that 26 other Illinois communities already have adopted to help make their streets safer. “Moving toward adoption of a Complete Streets ordinance is a positive way to include all of the different users of a street, not just cars,” said Bloomington Public Works Director Jim Karch. “It allows for positive improvements along our streets for bicyclists, pedestrians, and even buses.” The concept was presented to the Bloomington City County for discussion at its committee-of-the-whole meeting this Monday at City Hall. The Normal City Council has not yet discussed the matter.
Leominster, MA, Spencer, MA, and Clinton, MA are among the first municipalities to take advantage of a new state program that funds projects that improve accessibility and safety for pedestrians, cyclists, motorists, and transit riders. Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito this month said she is excited about the positive responses from so many municipal leaders. “Our investments in Complete Streets will make a significant difference for municipalities across the Commonwealth. With smart designs that take into consideration the needs and travel preferences of all users of our streetscape we will be saving lives, adapting to the changing patterns of how people travel, and enhancing the quality of life for residential and retail areas.”
Leaders in Saratoga Springs, NY are set to detail their plan for making streets more conducive for all users. An open house was held Monday night to introduce Saratoga’s Complete Streets plan, which was created in partnership with the Capital District Transportation Committee. The goal is to make the streets safe and accessible for pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers.
Members of the Billings, MT City Council have been pressing public works officials in recent weeks to learn the cost of designing and building Complete Streets. This Monday’s city council work session included an accounting of those costs.