New Policies in Florida, Minnesota, Nevada, and Ohio. Complete Streets news: March 2013

Policy Adoption

Broward County, Florida will now use the Broward Complete Streets Guidelines in its work, following a unanimous vote from the County Commission, which also established an interdepartmental Complete Streets Team to review and recommend additional changes. The Guidelines, developed through a partnership that included public health and transportation agencies, are based on the national Model Design Manual for Living Streets.

Maplewood, Minnesota, a Twin Cities suburb with a population of 38,000, adopted a Living Streets policy on January 28. Modeled on a similar policy adopted in nearby North Saint Paul, Maplewood’s new policy is the result of an extensive stakeholder process to establish a common vision for the community’s future. The document offers detailed design guidance that supports active living as a way of life and sustainable storm water management.

On March 15, the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) adopted Complete Streets design guidelines for the region’s street network. “As our communities continue to change and develop, people want to be able to walk and ride bicycles around their neighborhoods,” stated Tina Quigley, general manager of the RTC. The new guidelines are based in the national Model Design Manual for Living Streets and give localities ways to balance the needs of all users and create better civic spaces.

Piqua, Ohio‘s City Commission adopted a Complete Streets policy on January 15, following several months of public input and review from stakeholders. In addition to the comprehensive application of the policy to all new construction, reconstruction, resurfacing, rehabilitation, repair, and maintenance work, the policy includes seven next steps to ensure implementation. Piqua is a community of 20,000 people approximately 30 miles north of Dayton.

Memphis, Tennessee Mayor A.C. Wharton signed a Complete Streets executive order on January 30! The policy comes after several years of education and discussions, including a Laying the Foundation for Complete Streets workshop in November 2011. Local coalition Livable Memphis spearheaded the effort, with support from the Urban Land Institute’s Memphis District Council and the Memphis Association of Realtors. The executive order calls for the creation of a new street design guide, project prioritization changes, and to consider developing a comprehensive land use plan. The city participates in the Green Lane Project, which will help bring innovative design practices to the policy’s implementation.

Policy Action

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has hired Coalition Silver Partner firm Fehr & Peers to develop and deliver a course on its 2008 Complete Streets policy. The course will be presented in all Caltrans districts in the coming year. Offering training opportunities such as this is a vital element in successful Complete Streets implementation.

Three members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors are pushing for grant funding to improve safety on Masonic Avenue, sating that the current design is “fundamentally unsafe”. In the last five years, 131 people have been injured on Masonic, and two were killed from 2009 to 2011. The new design is in line with the with city’s Complete Streets policies and Better Streets plan. (Streetsblog San Francisco)

With a state Complete Streets law in place since 2009, Connecticut continues to work towards robust implementation. This year’s report from the state Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board notes that the department is still using an outdated design manual that hinders Complete Streets work. The Tri-State Transportation Campaign notes that a recent legislative proposal to streamline project funding should prioritize those projects that meet Complete Streets ends and local bridge projects should consider the needs of those walking and bicycling.

Lee County, Florida launched its Complete Streets Candidate Project Evaluator, an online mapping tool for the public to see how the county chooses transportation projects. The map shows criteria including location of bicycle and pedestrian crashes, bus stops, schools and parks. Improving transparency and sharing information is an important part of Complete Streets implementation.

To implement its 2010 Complete Streets policy, the Northwestern Indian Regional Planning Commission approved new Complete Streets design guidelines this month. The Commission recommended using the national model Complete Streets, Complete Networks, developed by the Active Transportation Alliance.

Complete Streets plans are coming together for Dudley Square and Melnea Cass Boulevard in Boston‘s Roxbury neighborhood. With input gathered at community meetings, designs for these important transportation connectors will improve travel conditions and provide better walking, bicycling, and transit connections. “Dudley needs to be looked at as a destination and not a drive-through,” said City Councilor Tito Jackson. (Boston Globe)

A street project in Hattiesburg, Mississippi is among the first to be built according the city’s Complete Streets philosophy. Sidewalks will be added along both sides of the street. “The whole idea behind complete streets is that it’s not only cars that you’re servicing but you’re also servicing other modes of transportation,” says City Engineer Bert Kuyrkendall.

Montclair, New Jersey is taking steps to implement its 2009 Complete Streets policy. Township Engineer Kimberli Craft has proposed an annual survey and improved design guidance for different types of streets.

Seattle Department of Transportation crews recently finished most of the sidewalks, curbs, and gutters along the renewed Linden Avenue North, and a new cycle track is close to opening. The project is one of many that have benefitted from the city’s Complete Streets law. (SDOT Blog)

Coalition News

Georgia Bikes! was awarded “Winning Campaign of the Year” by Coalition Steering Committee member Alliance for Biking and Walking for their work advancing a Complete Streets policy with the Georgia Department of Transportation. That policy was adopted on September 20, 2012. Rebecca Serna, the executive director of the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, was recognized as “Advocate of the Year” in part because of her work on that same policy initiative. Congratulations to all!

NelsonNygaard, a Coalition Silver Partner and the RBA Group, a Bronze Partner, earned awards for their recent Complete Streets work. NelsonNygaard helped develop Complete Streets curriculum and educational materials for the New Jersey Department of Transportation and were awarded the “National Planning Achievement Award for Implementation” by the American Planning Association. RBA Group received a National Recognition Award for exemplary engineering achievement in the American Council of Engineering Companies’ 47th annual Engineering Excellence Awards for their role in the New Jersey Department of Transportation’s “Complete Streets” initiative.

Tennessee Public Works Magazine featured the 28th-31st Avenue Connector in Nashville, designed by Gresham, Smith & Partners, a Coalition Silver Partner. One of the city’s first projects under its Complete Streets policy, the street is also one of the city’s greenest.

The Coalition thanks its renewing Platinum Partners and Steering Committee members, SRAM and SvR Design Company. A big thank you to LJB, Inc. and RPM Transportation Consultants for their continued support at the Bronze level! Support the Coalition’s work by becoming a Partner today. We offer great benefits at every level.

Complete Streets News

UCLA’s third annual Complete Streets Conference brought leaders from across the country to downtown Los Angeles last month. Keynote speaker Janette Sadik-Khan inspired with her stories from New York City and local leaders and officials impressed many with the incredible progress made so far in advancing Complete Streets across the region. (Streetsblog Los Angeles)

Metro Los Angeles, the organization responsible for planning and operating the transportation system in L.A. County, is taking steps to better integrate a Complete Streets approach in its everyday workings. The Board has asked staff to consider adjusting project selection criteria to favor Complete Streets work, review its project checklist for major capital projects, and work with cities to collect better performance data, among other things.

The Transportation Agency for Monterey County, California, is conducting a needs assessment to identify potential projects that achieve Complete Streets goals and working with municipalities to draft Complete Streets policies. Community members are encouraged to get involved. (Bicycling Monterey)

The Chicago Department of Transportation recently reorganized its internal structure to further its Complete Streets goals. A new Complete Streets group will incorporate the city’s bicycle, pedestrian, and streetscaping projects. The reorganization follows the city’s adoption of Safe Streets for Chicago policy in 2006: “The organization should reflect the policy we’re promoting. We’ve created a new Complete Streets implementation group, recognizing that all road projects we work on should be Complete Streets. That’s exciting because it institutionalizes the policy,” said Deputy Commissioner Scott Kubly. (Streetsblog Chicago)

Last week, Peoria, Illinois broke ground on the Warehouse District, a downtown revitalization project that will incorporate a Complete Streets approach. By making the streets safer and connecting housing to jobs and commerce, the city hopes this Complete Streets project will attract young professionals and boosting the local economy. The city was awarded a TIGER grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to help make the work possible.

Indiana’s Columbus Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) will form a Transportation Safety Committee this spring to help address the safety of people walking, bicycling, and riding public transportation. The interdisciplinary committee will add to the work done by city engineers to create Complete Streets. “We want family and children to move around town,” said Laurence Brown, CAMPO’s director. “We want more teens using more public transit and bicycles. That, in itself, reduces a lot of car trips and that increases safety.” (Columbus Republic)

Lucia Dolan, of Newton, Massachusetts, advocates for better street design and more walkable development to help fight chronic disease and inspire residents to be more physically active in an opinion published by Wicked Local.

A solicitation for ideas related to an updated open space plan has inspired residents of Worcester, Massachusetts to speak up for a Complete Streets policy that would complement open space efforts. (Worcester News Telegram)

Essex County, New Jersey is working to update its Comprehensive Transportation Plan, last updated in 1984. Without much opportunity to simply widen roadways, many see Complete Streets improvements and technological innovations as the best way to provide high quality service. (Montclair Times)

Jerry Fried, former mayor of Montclair, New Jersey, spoke to Millburn Township about the benefits of Complete Streets and Montclair made its policy work. “In our experience, there have been so many more benefits than costs,” he said. “It’s more of a philosophy and a policy than it is merely engineering.” (Millburn/Short Hills Alternative Press)

Albuquerque, New Mexico is considering a Complete Streets approach in its upcoming redesign of Central Avenue. The city hopes to make the street safer and more appealing for the many who work, live, and play along the corridor. (KOB4)

Residents and elected officials alike met a Complete Streets measure in with enthusiasm in Albany, New York this month. The legislation will undergo revisions and be reintroduced.

The Ithaca, New York Board of Public Works unanimously approved a proposal to redesign Old Elmira Road with a Complete Streets approach. Though city policy requires property owners to shoulder much of the cost of sidewalks, the board found the benefits of new sidewalks and improved bicycling facilities would be worth the investment. (Ithaca Journal)

The tragic death of Kaylynn Brann, 16, has inspired communities in southern Mississippi to build sidewalks, stripe crosswalks, and install other measures to improve safety, especially for children walking to and from school. (Biloxi-Gulfport Sun Herald)

In West Virginia, the State Senate’s Transportation and Infrastructure Committee endorsed Complete Streets legislation this week. Supported by AARP West Virginia, the legislation would put accessibility for all users at the center of transportation planning for 92 percent of the roads in West Virginia. The legislation also calls for the creation of a Complete Streets advisory board to improve communication between transportation professionals at state, regional, and local levels.

A recent poll from NPR, conducted with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health, showed that while nearly 100 percent of parents think exercise is important for their kids, nearly 40 percent say its difficult to ensure their kids get enough daily exercise. Complete Streets creates opportunities for kids to get necessary exercise by creating safe streets so kids can walk or bike to school, their friends’ houses and around their neighborhoods.

In a blog post for Community Commons, Leslie Meehan of the Nashville Metropolitan Planning Organization discusses the transportation planning process often works — and how the needs of those traveling by all modes can be incorporated.

Reporting from a winter bike conference in Oulu, Finland, reporter Tom Babin shares how this snowy city supports bicycling year round. Among their tactics: routinely building pathways that connect destinations and changing plowing priorities. (Calgary Herald)

Incomplete Streets Death — Karla Nicole Wilson, 35, was killed by a car while walking in Pasadena, Maryland on Thursday, March 14. Wilson and another woman, who was uninjured, had attempted to cross Fort Smallwood Road at Pittman Road when Wilson was struck. While there are two bus stops located at the intersection, there are no crosswalks to allow people on foot to safely cross the street to get on a bus or access the surrounding corporate buildings.


Guide: re:Streets — Featuring nine ways to create streets that are community assets, the re:Streets project guides planners, engineers, advocates, elected officials, and community members to rethink what streets would look like if they accommodated people of all ages and abilities, promoted health, business, and the environment. In addition to strategies to improve mobility and access for people of all ages, abilities, and modes of travel, the guide includes best practices and case studies to support commerce, wayfinding, and green infrastructure. The National Complete Streets Coalition is a project supporter, and our Partner firms, workshop instructors, and friends in communities with Complete Streets policies informed the creation of the re:Streets guide.

Research: Measuring Bicycling and Walking — A brief from Active Living Research, “Counting Bicyclists and Pedestrians to Inform Transportation Planning,” describes and evaluates technologies for counting people who are walking and riding bicycles. Such data can be used in transportation planning to understand the demand for facilities and the appropriate types to be considered. The brief also helps agencies determine the right technology to assist their Complete Streets performance measurement goals, a key element of a Complete Streets policy.

Video: Secretary LaHood Addresses Bike Summit — In his final address to attendees of the National Bike Summit, outgoing Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood highlighted the U.S. Department of Transportation’s nationwide support of Complete Streets projects over the last four years. Announcing two upcoming bicycle safety summits, LaHood called for a continued vigilant approach to bicycle and pedestrian safety: “What we really hope to do is to create standard guidance for how we build modern streets, bridges, and highways that keep everyone safe, including cyclists.”

Grant: Bikes Belong Community Partnership — The Bikes Belong Coalition is now accepting grant applications from local partnerships of government agencies, non-profits, and businesses to improve bicycling through facility construction and bicycling advocacy. Read more online:


“Rather than becoming a drive through city where people fly by as fast as humanly possible, why not build places where you park once and do three or four different things? And small businesses can take root and be sustainable. Those things happen in communities that have walkability.” – John Michlig, Chairman of the Complete Streets and Connectivity Committee, Franklin, Wisconsin

“Our communities are looking to modify how our streets are designed so they can better and more safely meet the needs of everyone who uses them — bicyclists, pedestrians, transit riders and motorists. Complete Streets principles can successfully increase a road’s capacity, improve safety, stimulate economic growth, lower emissions and promote smarter growth.” – Larry Brown, Clark County Commissioner and chairman of the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC).

“It’s important to encourage people to feel safe and to invite them to walk, ride, use mass transit, or even have a safer, more enjoyable car ride than what they currently have.” – David Sabatino, president, Envision Valley Stream

Thank you to our Partners:
Complete Streets