A formal commitment to a Complete Streets approach is just the beginning. A strong policy also spells out specific steps for implementing the policy in ways that will make a measurable impact on what gets built and where.
Complete Streets Implementation
Today, the National Complete Streets Coalition and Smart Growth America are launching a new site to help local communities better model and evaluate the potential benefits of Complete Streets projects—measuring and proving their many economic, health, environmental, equity, and safety benefits—without ever turning over a shovel.
Over the last decade, we’ve come to understand that a Complete Streets policy is only the first step to making streets safer and more accessible to everyone. We’ve revised the “Implementation steps” policy element to include increased accountability from jurisdictions and requirements to include equity and community engagement.
A Complete Streets approach requires “diverse users” to be more than just a buzzword. This brand new addition to our policy framework aims to hold jurisdictions accountable for including equity into their plans based on the composition and objectives of the community, a requirement that was lacking from the previous framework. The U.S. history of systemic discrimination and exclusion based on race and income is part of the transportation context and cannot be ignored. Transportation choices should be safe, convenient, reliable, affordable, accessible, and timely regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, income, gender identity, immigration status, age, ability, languages spoken, or level of access to a personal vehicle.
Introducing a brand new framework for grading Complete Streets policies
We’ve got big news to share: As you hopefully know already, each year the Coalition releases an analysis and ranking of the best Complete Streets policies in the country based on 10 policy elements that were established more than a decade ago. Beginning in 2018, we will be using a brand new framework to analyze and rank Complete Streets policies.
As the first-ever Safe Streets Academy prepares for launch next month, the quality and number of applications that were submitted offered a deeply informative look into the challenges to Complete Streets implementation that jurisdictions across the country currently face. The National Complete Streets Coalition decided to put that information to use by creating an infographic that summarizes some of the most pressing challenges.
Ever since the first edition of Dangerous by Design came out in 2009, Florida has had the dubious distinction of having the highest rate of people being struck and killed by cars while walking of any state in the nation.
In light of that problem, municipalities and public agencies across Florida have been working to make streets safer. Now, communities in Central Florida specifically are coming together to make progress on those goals.
Over the past nine months, Smart Growth America, in partnership with the Winter Park Health Foundation, has worked with municipalities and agencies in Central Florida on a series of workshops to implement Complete Streets—streets that are safe and comfortable for everyone, no matter their age, ability, race, income, or how they chose to travel. Changing the way streets are designed, particularly in places with chronic collisions like Florida, is one of the most important steps public agencies can take to prevent people from being struck and killed while walking.
The Winter Park Health Foundation engaged Smart Growth America to help the Central Florida region identify and address specific barriers hindering local decision-makers’ ability to build Complete Streets: roadways that are safe and comfortable for all users – people walking, bicycling, and taking transit, people driving and truck drivers making deliveries. This project includes representation … Continued
Last week I had the honor of opening Street Lights 2016, the National Complete Streets Coalition’s first-ever national conference, in Sacramento, California. Leaders from across the country came together on November 15 to share ideas, inspiration, and calls for actions on Complete Streets particularly as they relate to equity and implementation, two pillars of the Coalition’s core mission.
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation is taking action to encourage more Complete Streets projects across the state through its Complete Streets Funding Program. Last week, we hosted a webinar highlighting the program.