This year we’re highlighting 12 of the best Complete Streets initiatives, projects, and champions around the country in lieu of our typical annual Best Complete Streets Policies report. The Best Complete Streets Initiatives of 2017 celebrates the people and communities that are setting an example for implementation and equity in Complete Streets which are an important part of the new Complete Streets grading framework that will take effect next year.
On May 1, residents in Nashville will be voting on a $5.2 billion proposal to dramatically improve and expand the city’s transit system with improved frequency on existing lines, new BRT routes, and a new light rail system. Our upcoming conference, Intersections: Creating Culturally Complete Streets, is happening right in the midst of this once-in-a-generation conversation.
Councilman Ryan Dorsey, in collaboration with the advocacy organization Bikemore, drafted a groundbreaking Complete Streets ordinance for the City of Baltimore. The Complete Streets ordinance, if adopted, will introduce stringent, binding requirements to proactively reduce disparities in community engagement, project delivery, and performance measurements. The proposed ordinance is the result of a yearlong stakeholder engagement process that has built a broad coalition of supporters to oversee the adoption and implementation of this ambitious ordinance.
Las Cruces, NM is one of many cities across the U.S. creating a more mixed-use, accessible, and walkable community. The key to their success? A Downtown Master Plan that recognizes the strong connection between land use and transportation. Originally adopted back in 2004, the Downtown Master Plan is a living document that reflects the community’s vision. This plan was crucial to the city’s adoption of a form-based code and advancement of Complete Streets initiatives, including a recent flagship project, Plaza de Las Cruces.
Through the Inner Loop East Transformation Project, the City of Rochester, NY is reimagining its street network by putting people and place before cars. The project supports the city’s vision for a more vibrant, connected downtown by converting an outdated urban expressway into a walkable, bikeable Complete Streets boulevard that reconnects the neighborhoods once divided by the expressway. This project is an important step in achieving the goals set forth in the city’s Complete Streets ordinance and Master Plan.
Local leaders in Lowell, Massachusetts are working hard to make their streets safer and more accessible, passing a Complete Streets policy several years ago and advancing or completing a number of recent projects that prioritize the need to make streets safe and convenient for users of all ages and all abilities.
This month, the Complete Streets team returned to Knoxville, TN for the third and final workshop of the Tennessee Consortium Series. Despite the weather’s best efforts (it turns out, a frozen street is not a Complete Street), not even a snowstorm could stop us from convening for two last days of intensive hands-on learning.
Last week during the 2018 Transportation Research Board meeting, the National Complete Streets Coalition hosted the Eighth Annual Complete Streets Dinner in Washington D.C. We were joined by over 70 Complete Streets partners, advocates, supporters and friends who came together to share a meal, get to know each other, and celebrate the Coalition’s 2017 milestones.
In the second workshop of the Complete Streets Consortium Series, we reunited with the teams from the Chattanooga, Knoxville, and Nashville regions of Tennessee to focus on collaboration.
This November, participants from Lexington KY, South Bend IN, and Orlando FL convened in Orlando for the inaugural workshop of the Safe Streets Academy. We spent two days laying the foundation for the Academy and conducting case studies and exercises on innovative strategies to improve safety through engineering countermeasures.