Complete Streets Implementation
What do communities get for their investments in Complete Streets? In this study of 37 projects, Smart Growth America found that Complete Streets projects tended to improve safety for everyone, increased biking and walking, and showed a mix of increases and decreases in automobile traffic, depending in part on the project goal. Compared to conventional … Continued
Left: Secretary Foxx, photo by USDOT. Right: people walking and bicycling in Charlotte, NC. Photo by James Willamor
Yesterday, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx launched the Mayors’ Challenge for Safer People and Safer Streets—inviting mayors and other local elected officials to take significant action to improve the safety of their constituents who walk or bicycle in the next year.
Their first action: attending the Mayors’ Summit for Safer People, Safer Streets this March.
This multi-use sidepath in Anchorage, AK is maintained and used for transportation year-round. Photo courtesy of Lori Schanche, Anchorage Department of Public Works.
Last month, Senator Mark Begich of Alaska introduced the Safe Streets Act of 2014 (S. 2004), which requires states and regions to adopt Complete Streets policies for federally funded transportation projects.
Why would a Senator from the nation’s coldest state introduce legislation that supports walking, biking and transit? Complete Streets strategies aren’t just for big cities or warm climates. Smaller cities and towns across the country are embracing Complete Streets, with policies now in place in 48 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia.
In Alaska, communities as far north as Fairbanks and North Pole are putting Complete Streets principles to work as more and more residents get around without getting in the car. And these efforts are paying off. The state ranks highest in the U.S. in the percentage of walking and biking commutes and in per capita funding for non-motorized transportation, and third-lowest in fatality rate among walkers and bicyclists.
A new implementation brief about Complete Streets in Alaska has even more information about the strategies being used by this snowy state. Here are some highlights from the brief.
Bill Deatherage, of the Kentucky Council of the Blind, walking along Louisville, KY’s Brownsboro Road before and after sidewalk construction. Photo by Anne M. McMahon.
This post is the fourth in a twice-monthly series of excerpts from Completing Our Streets: The Transition to Safe and Inclusive Transportation Networks, the new book from Island Press by Barbara McCann, founder of the National Complete Streets Coalition. The book discusses the keys to the movement’s success, and how places and practitioners in the United States are tackling the challenges of putting a new transportation paradigm into daily practice.
All National Complete Streets Coalition Platinum Partners and those who upgrade to the next Partnership level will receive a signed copy of Completing Our Streets. Become a Coalition Partner today!
From Chapter 4: Process Over Projects: Changing How Decisions are Made
The disconnected sidewalks, marooned bus stops, curb ramps to nowhere, and other gaps in transportation infrastructure are usually a reflection of gaps in the processes used for planning, design, and construction. In many jurisdictions, no one has thought about how to balance the needs of more than one mode, or how to get the details right on small-scale nonmotorized infrastructure, or how to coordinate transportation planning with the surrounding neighborhood. Another gap is human. The people navigating that landscape by foot or wheelchair were likely not in the room when the decisions were made.
The reconfigured Broad Avenue in Memphis. Photo by Justin Fox Burks.
Earlier this year Memphis, TN, passed the 500th Complete Streets policy in the United States. In a new policy and implementation brief, we detail how Memphis achieved its Complete Streets successes so far, the ongoing efforts in the region and the work that remains to be done.
Transportation planners, engineers, and department officials will find this report helpful in considering how to implement a Complete Streets approach. Other stakeholders with knowledge of transportation issues, such as community leaders and public health agencies, can reference this document in assisting the transportation professionals successfully integrate the needs of all users into every decision-making.
The California Department of Transportation takes to our blog to shows how it is moving ahead to make the Golden State’s highways safer, more livable, and inviting to pedestrians, bicyclists, the disabled, public transportation users, and motorists.
It’s a Safe Decision: Complete Streets in California, a report from the National Complete Streets Coalition and the Local Government Commission telling the successes of a Complete Streets approach in California, was released last week at an event with Representative Doris Matsui (CA-5), one of the Congressional sponsors of a federal Complete Streets policy.
Though all eyes have been on federal transportation policy the last few weeks, states have continued to push forward with their Complete Streets efforts. Bills have been introduced in West Virginia and Rhode Island, and several states with Complete Streets policies in place move ahead with implementation.