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.
Complete Streets Policy
The Complete Streets Policy Framework represents the current best practices for creating a strong policy that can be implemented at any level of governance. It’s the go-to policy framework to guide any community who wants to develop their own policy to shape how their streets are planned, designed, built, and operated.
To conclude Complete Streets month at Smart Growth America, we’re proud to publish the brand new policy grading framework and scoring methodology. These changes come after our Steering committee voted to approve the framework in 2017. For months a group of national stakeholders, consisting of engineers, planners, researchers, and advocates, worked to revise the policy elements and truly raise the bar for what Complete Streets look like in practice. So it is only right that we spent the past month highlighting each of these revised elements and gaining a deeper understanding of the essence of Complete Streets moving forward.
As of the end of 2016, more than 1,000 jurisdictions in the United States have made formal commitments to streets that are safe and convenient for everyone—no matter their age, income, race, ethnicity, physical ability, or how they choose to travel—by passing a Complete Streets policy. Specifically, 13 communities led the nation in creating and adopting comprehensive Complete Streets policies last year.
A proposed rule from USDOT rule would measure success in outdated ways and prioritize fast driving speeds over all other modes of transportation and their associated benefits.
A call to action on the United States’ obesity epidemic, a challenge on safety from a federal cabinet secretary, new standards for transportation in Congress, and the first-ever perfect-scoring policy all made 2015 a banner year for the national movement for Complete Streets.
Local policies were a huge part of this momentum. In 2015, communities passed a total of 82 Complete Streets policies, and they are some of the strongest ever passed. In fact, in 2015 the city of Reading, PA adopted the first policy to ever score a perfect 100 in our analysis.
The Best Complete Streets Policies of 2015, out today, highlights Complete Streets policies from across the country last year, including the 16 policies that were the nation’s best. Those communities were:
Each year, the Coalition reviews the policies adopted to date and assesses how well they meet the ten elements of a Complete Streets policy. The report highlights exemplary policy language and provides leaders at all levels of government with ideas for how to create strong Complete Streets policies.
On December 7, 2015, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) released its Complete Streets Implementation Plan, an ambitious and comprehensive commitment to change the way roads are designed and built in Florida to make them safer for all types of travelers, while also promoting economic development and enhancing quality of life.
On Tuesday we revealed The Best Complete Streets Policies of 2014, and to celebrate we hosted an online discussion with representatives from a few of this year’s top-scoring communities. If you missed the discussion, here’s a recap of the kickoff event.
Students in Kailua, HI, walk along a street with Complete Streets features. A new bill in the Senate would require Complete Streets considerations for federal projects. Photo via Charlier Associates.
Whether you walk, bike, drive or take transit, Complete Streets policies help make sure you travel safely and conveniently, and a new bill introduced in the U.S. Senate would encourage every community in the country to use these strategies.
On Friday, Senators Mark Begich (D-AK) and Brian Schatz (D-HI) introduced the Safe Streets Act of 2014 (S. 2004), which would require all new federally-funded transportation projects use a Complete Streets approach to planning, designing and building roads to accommodate the safety and convenience of all users.