There’s a demand for opportunities to walk, bike, and roll in rural America, but so far our infrastructure has failed to keep pace. While decision-makers attempt to add safety features to transportation projects, they would do well to remember that pedestrian safety and vehicle speed are opposing goals.
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) recently issued a report to Congress outlining the agency’s commitment to using Complete Streets as its default approach to funding and designing roadways, as well as the agency’s ongoing challenges and opportunities in advancing safety and reducing traffic injuries and fatalities. This is an important step forward, especially when combined with a newly established Complete Streets hub and additional roadway design guidance.
Effective Complete Streets policy implementation requires a process for exceptions to providing for all modes in each project. Exceptions should follow the Federal Highway Administration’s guidance on accommodating bicycle and pedestrian travel and identified best practices frequently used in existing Complete Streets policies. The Coalition believes these exceptions are appropriate with limited potential to weaken the policy.
The How and Why of Measuring Access to Opportunity: A Guide to Performance Management is a brand new guidebook on the data, tools, and methodologies transportation officials need to measure access to opportunity, as well as how to integrate these measurements into their planning and investment decisions.
Access to jobs, education, healthcare, and other essential services may be regarded as the primary purpose of transportation. Not surprisingly, transportation agencies across the country are increasingly interested in considering this as a key part of measuring system performance. Unfortunately, many transportation practitioners are not sure how to measure how well their system links people … Continued
Indianapolis Cultural Trail, Photo Credit: Downtown Indy
Registration is now open for Street Lights — Join the National Complete Streets Coalition at Street Lights: Illuminating Implementation and Equity in Complete Streets, our first-ever Complete Streets conference, taking place on November 15, 2016 in Sacramento, CA. This day-long conference will be a chance for transportation planners and engineers, community, equity, and health advocates, local officials, and Complete Streets practitioners to share ideas, brainstorm solutions, and celebrate the success of the Complete Streets movement nationwide together. Conference registration is $150 for National Complete Streets Coalition partners and $195 for non-partners. Become a partner today and one complimentary registration is included!
The Federal Highway Administration made two big moves this last week to clear the way for states, metro areas, and local communities to use federal dollars to design safer, more complete streets.
Both of these updates are great news for anyone advocating for streets that better meet the needs of everyone that uses them, as well as better serving the goals of the surrounding community. FHWA deserves a big round of applause for making these changes.
If you are working on a local transportation project and your DOT or some other agency cites vague federal rules when refusing to build a safe and complete street, show them the FHWA memo below. Their guidance makes it extremely clear: there’s wide latitude to design streets to best suit local needs, and old regulations that treat all roads like highways have been rolled back.
Crossposted from Transportation for America.
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) took an encouraging and surprising step this week to make it dramatically easier for cities and communities of all sizes to design and build complete streets that are safer for everyone by easing federally-mandated design standards on many roads.
Currently, FHWA has a long list of design criteria that local communities and states must adhere to when building or reconstructing certain roads, unless they choose to go through an arduous process of requesting an exception to do things like line a downtown street with street trees, reduce the width of lanes to add a bike lane, or curve a street slightly to slow traffic and make it safer for people in cars and on foot.
In this new proposed rule, FHWA decided after a thorough review to scrap 11 of 13 current design criteria for certain roads because they decided these criteria have “minimal influence on the safety or operation on our urban streets” and has a stronger connection for rural roads, freeways and higher speed urban arterials.
State Departments of Transportation (DOTs) have ambitious goals: improve safety, reduce congestion, enhance economic opportunity, improve reliability, preserve system assets, accelerate project delivery, and help to create healthier, more livable neighborhoods, just to name a few. These goals would be challenging even if money were no object, but dwindling conventional federal and state transportation funding makes these goals even harder to achieve.
The Innovative DOT: A handbook of policy and practice, published earlier this year by Smart Growth America and the State Smart Transportation Initiative, lays out 31 tools transportation officials can use as they position their agencies for success in the new economy.
On December 12, from 3:00-4:30 PM EST, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) will host a webinar about the report and its recommendations. FHWA is partnering with the Project for Public Spaces and INDUS Corporation to present this free event.
In an effort to enhance livability and sustainability initiatives, DOT and HUD have created a new process that removes conflict between HUD and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) contracting requirements. The initiative was published in today’s Federal Register. From the Federal Register notice… Under this initiative, the FHWA will utilize Special Experimental Project No. 14 (SEP-14) to permit, on … Continued