Join us on November 15 in Sacramento — The Street Lights: Illuminating Implementation and Equity in Complete Streets conference is just around the corner. As we deep dive into all aspects of Complete Streets, will you be a part of the conversation? Register today.
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. Planning on attending from out of town? There are a limited number of discounted rooms reserved at the Citizen Hotel, Autograph Collection. The room block closes on October 15.
Apply Now: Free Complete Streets technical assistance — Last month, Smart Growth America announced a limited number of free workshops to help local leaders and residents make their communities more livable, sustainable, and vibrant. As part of this program, communities can apply for free Complete Streets technical assistance. Cities like Huntsville, AL and Memphis, TN have used this opportunity to bring national experts to their communities to lead Complete Streets workshops with the goal of developing and implementing Complete Streets policies. In addition to our Complete Streets technical assistance, for the first time, three applicants can apply as a consortium for our new Complete Streets Consortium Series.
Now Hiring: Complete Streets Internship — The National Complete Streets Coalition is now hiring a Complete Streets Equity, Research, and Communications Intern. The intern will help advance the work of the Coalition’s 2016-2020 Strategic Plan, which focuses on equity and implementation of Complete Streets. The intern will be an integral part of the Coalition’s work, by doing research and drafting new resources, assisting in projects to assess policy implementation efforts, working with the Coalition’s Steering Committee and Partners, providing administrative support for events and workshops, and writing articles for our newsletter, blog, and social media. Learn more about open jobs at Smart Growth America.
Complete Streets workshops around the country — The National Complete Streets Coalition visited Cook County, IL, Cullman, AL, and Huntsville, AL last 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.
Introducing the new SmartGrowthAmerica.org — Last week, Smart Growth America released a new and improved website. The site features a new overview of all technical assistance services, including the Complete Streets workshop series, (Re)Building Downtown workshops, DOT Innovation program, and many others. The new website is designed to help people anywhere better understand a smart growth approach to development and how to use it. Explore the new SmartGrowthAmerica.org.
Prioritizing health in transportation planning — A new package of case studies released last month by Transportation for America showcases a range of strategies—including Complete Streets policies and implementation—that metro area planning agencies are using to strengthen the local economy and improve public health outcomes. All four case studies in Measuring what We Value: Prioritizing Public Health to Build Prosperous Regions will be of interest to Complete Streets practitioners and advocates, but one case study in particular shows how one Florida county, prompted by a need for safer streets, made Complete Streets a priority. That case study explores how the Broward MPO spearheaded an effort to build regional consensus and political support for planning, designing, and building more Complete Streets projects.
Physical inactivity among adults aged 50 years and older — Physical activity can help delay, prevent, or manage many of the chronic diseases for which adults aged above 50 years are at risk. These diseases can impact the length and quality of life, as well as the long-term ability to live independently. To examine the prevalence of inactivity by selected demographic characteristics and chronic disease status in mid-life and older adults, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzed data on adults aged over 50 years from the 2014 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Overall, 27.5 percent of adults aged over 50 years reported no physical activity outside of work during the past month.
A look at obesity, physical activity, and healthy communities — Last month, the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation released The State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America, which found U.S. adult obesity rates decreased in four states (Minnesota, Montana, New York and Ohio), increased in two (Kansas and Kentucky) and remained stable in the rest, between 2014 and 2015. This marks the first time in the past decade that any states have experienced decreases—aside from a decline in Washington, DC in 2010.
Every Body Walk! Collaborative Social Justice Toolkit — When working to promote walkability and create policies that promote walking, it is important to engage, empower, and inform community members, organizations, and elected officials about equity, fairness, and justice. The Every Body Walk! Collaborative (EBWC) and partners developed the Social Justice Toolkit to identify key areas where walking and walkability can help to ease tensions, bridge divides, and address disparities within communities. The Toolkit provides talking points, messaging tools, and other resources to talk about how the health benefits of walkable communities help to foster equitable communities.
Stronger economies for active communities — Business is booming in many South Carolina towns and cities thanks to local infrastructure projects that have made communities more pedestrian and bicycle-friendly. Ten municipalities, featured in a new report released last month by Eat Smart Move More South Carolina, have noted millions of dollars in returns on investments, not to mention more active citizens. In Stronger Economies Through Active Communities: The Economic Impact of Walkable, Bikeable Communities in South Carolina, small business and municipal leaders are seeing large returns on investments in health.
What does a Complete Street look like? — Whether it’s bike lanes on Bloor, sidewalk patios on the Danforth, or a reimagining of what downtown King Street could be, the City of Toronto is looking for ways to make its streets a bit more complete. City staff are preparing a set of guidelines aimed at making Toronto’s roadways more inclusive for cyclists, pedestrians, and transit users. The policy will go to council in the winter. As part of the process, staff invited photographers to submit pictures of what they believe Complete Streets look like, both at home and abroad. Over 780 photos were submitted, and a panel of three judges has narrowed the list down to ten finalists.
Two outstanding U.S. Department of Transportation employees were recognized at the 2016 Pro Walk/Pro Bike/Pro Place conference by the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals for their singular efforts in creating safer, more efficient street networks for those traveling on foot, by bike, and in vehicles. Barbara McCann of the Office of the Secretary of Transportation was presented with the 2016 ABPB Lifetime Achievement Award, while Dan Goodman of the Federal Highway Administration was named the recipient of the APBP 2016 Professional of the Year—Public Sector Award.
The Farmington, NM Metropolitan Planning Organization’s policy committee unanimously approved a plan last month that will serve as a guideline for future road and trail projects in San Juan County. The Complete Streets plan, which was presented to the committee during a meeting in Aztec, details how the cities of Farmington, Aztec and Bloomfield, as well as San Juan County and the New Mexico Department of Transportation, can make local roads safer for pedestrians and bicyclists.
One proposal to improve road safety was quickly approved by Kalamazoo, MI City Commissioners, while another inspired nearly an hour of debate and will require future action. Kalamazoo’s City Commission voted to support the creation of a Complete Streets Policy by April 2017 and amended an ordinance that increases the distance motorists must maintain when passing cyclists. An ordinance requiring cars to stay 3 feet away from bicyclists on city streets was introduced for second reading, but commissioners were not satisfied it was enough room and voted to require motorists to maintain 5 feet of distance when passing.
Medford, MA is close to finalizing a Complete Streets policy aimed at making roads safer and more attractive for all users, including bicyclists, and pedestrians. Once complete, the policy will be sent to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation for review. If the policy scores 80 out of a possible 100 points, Medford would submit a list of prioritized roadway improvement projects for which the city would receive up to $400,000 in construction funding. “Complete Streets will play a vital role in designing future road projects in Medford,” said Mayor Stephanie M. Burke in a letter reviewing her first 100 days in office.
To make roads safer and more accessible to pedestrians, bicyclists, and people with disabilities, Manchester, CT town leaders have started discussing a Complete Streets policy. South Windsor adopted such a policy in July, with plans that include widening sidewalks, increasing the number of bike lanes and creating shared paths for walkers and bike riders. The state’s Complete Streets law, which took effect in 2010, requires the Department of Transportation to use at least 1 percent of funds for any major road reconstruction project on sidewalks, bike lanes, and similar amenities.