National Complete Streets Coalition celebrates 10th anniversary and over 845 policies nationwide at 6th annual dinner


On Tuesday, the National Complete Streets Coalition hosted our Sixth Annual Complete Streets Dinner at La Tasca, in downtown Washington, DC. The evening assembled over 50 advocates, supporters, partners, and friends to celebrate 10 years as a Coalition and over 845 Complete Streets policies passed at the state, regional, and local level.

Coalition Director Emiko Atherton, Steering Committee Chair Rich Weaver, of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), and Smart Growth America President and CEO Geoff Anderson kicked off the evening with welcomes and an introduction of the dinner’s distinguished speaker, Gregory Ballard, former mayor of Indianapolis.

Get the recap: “Evaluating Complete Streets Projects: A guide for practitioners” webinar and discussion

On Tuesday, the National Complete Streets Coalition hosted a webinar on our newest resource, Evaluating Complete Streets Projects: A guide for practitioners. The new guide is designed to help transportation professionals understand and use new measures of success, and provides an introduction to performance measurement for Complete Streets projects. The recording of Tuesday’s webinar is now available.

"Evaluating Complete Streets Projects: A guide for practitioners" now available

ecsp-coverCommunities have seen amazing results from their Complete Streets projects. These projects have made streets safer, increased the number of people biking, walking, and taking transit, and have been related to broader economic gains. But too few communities measure these results.

Our newest guide is designed to make it easier for transportation professionals to understand and use new measures of success. Evaluating Complete Streets Projects: A guide for practitioners is a beginners guide to performance measures for Complete Streets projects published today by the National Complete Streets Coalition.

Meant for agencies interested in but just beginning their project evaluation efforts, this resource provides general first steps to take in evaluating projects, useful measures and metrics for common Complete Streets goals, tips for sharing successes, and further resources for those ready to dive deeper into the why and how of performance measurement for Complete Streets.

Measuring project performance can help transportation agencies understand what’s working and what’s not. It’s a crucial way for agencies to align project decisions with established goals, and can clearly demonstrate a project’s success. All of this can help transportation agencies build public support for their work and get the most out of their investments. Our new guide is a great first step in achieving these goals.

A transportation engineer on what convinced him to use a Complete Streets approach

west-jefferson“Crazy ideas” in action: Complete Streets features in downtown West Jefferson, NC.

On Tuesday we hosted a panel discussion about Safer Streets, Stronger Economies, new research from the National Complete Streets Coalition on the outcomes of Complete Streets projects across the country. If you missed the event, read our full recap and watch the recorded webinar.

Dean Ledbetter, a Senior Engineer at the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT), joined the panel to discuss the Complete Streets project in downtown West Jefferson, NC. There were so many questions about working with transportation engineers, and for Dean specifically, that we said down with him for a follow-up conversation.

Alex Dodds: You mentioned that you initially thought that Complete Streets was a “crazy idea,” but that eventually you changed your mind. What convinced you?
Dean Ledbetter: I don’t know if there was one specific thing. I think I had to go through the [Federal Highway Administration’s] training several times for the reality of something new to overpower the existing “knowledge” I had about what my job was supposed to be. And I have to admit that we only went to those classes to get the free Professional Development Hours not because we really expected to learn anything useful.

Get the recap: "Safer Streets, Stronger Economies" webinar and discussion

On Tuesday, the National Complete Streets Coalition released Safer Streets, Stronger Economies, new research that analyzes data from 37 Complete Streets projects across the country, and explores the outcomes communities got for their investment. As part of the release the Coalition hosted a panel discussion to discuss the findings, and to highlight communities included in the report. A recording of the webinar is now available.

Announcing the Best Complete Streets Policies of 2014

Guadalupe Street in Austin, TX. Austin had one of the highest-scoring policies of 2014. Photo courtesy of the City of Austin.

A total of 74 communities adopted Complete Streets policies in the United States in 2014. These laws, resolutions and planning and design documents encourage and provide for the safe access to destinations for everyone, regardless of age, ability, income or ethnicity, and no matter how they travel.

The Best Complete Streets Policies of 2014, released today by Smart Growth America’s National Complete Streets Coalition examines and scores each Complete Streets policy enacted in 2014. The report outlines ten ideal elements of a Complete Streets policy and scores individual policies based on these ideals. Policy elements refine a community’s vision for transportation, provide for many types of users, complement community needs and establish a flexible approach necessary for an effective Complete Streets process and outcome.

El primer congreso de Calles Completas en Puerto Rico

AARP PR Director Jose AcaronJosé Acaron, director of AARP Puerto Rico, speaks before the Puerto Rico Complete Streets Congress. Photo by AARP Puerto Rico, via Facebook.

The first-ever Puerto Rico Complete Streets Congress for Professionals, presented by AARP Puerto Rico on October 3, convened 160 transportation, public health, and other community leaders who want to elevate Complete Streets policies and strategies across the island.

Covering topics ranging from the benefits of Complete Streets to best practices in implementation to design guidance, the event was featured insights from Complete Streets workshops instructor Paul Zykofsky; Ana Rius, Secretary of Health Department for Puerto Rico; Miguel Torres, Secretary of Transportation and Public Works for Puerto Rico; Zaki Mustafa, past present of Institute of Transportation Engineers, a National Complete Streets Coalition Steering Committee member; and long-time Complete Streets advocate Dan Burden.

Hear the recap: The Best Complete Streets Policies of 2013 online discussion

best-cs-policies-2013-coverYesterday we unveiled The Best Complete Streets Policies of 2013 and to celebrate we hosted an online discussion with representatives from many of this year’s top-scoring communities. Panelists gave listeners a behind-the-scenes look at how many of this year’s policies were created, and provided insights for how other communities create strong policies of their own.

If you were not able to join us for yesterday’s event, an archived recording is now available.

Watch the archived recording

Watch the archived webinar
Download the presentation (PDF)

Joining yesterday’s event were Roger Millar, Director of the National Complete Streets Coalition; Chris Kuschel, Regional Planner, Metropolitan Area Planning Council (Massachusetts); Mayor James R. Walker of Peru, IN; Mark Demchek, Executive Director of the Miami County, IN YMCA; Karen Mendrala, Livability Planner for Fort Lauderdale, FL; Mayor Jonathan LaBonte of Auburn, ME; Craig Saddlemire, Chair of the Bike/Ped Committee for Lewiston/Auburn, ME; Rick Taintor, Planning Director for Portsmouth, NH; Andrew Fangman, City Planner for Muscatine, IA; Chris Schmiesing, City Planner for Piqua, OH; Jamie Parks, Complete Streets Program Manager for Oakland, CA; Bob Vinn, Assistant City Engineer for Livermore, CA; Aric Schroeder, City Planner for Waterloo, IA; and Mayor Jon Crews of Cedar Falls, IA.

Thank you to everyone who participated. The event provided great information for experts and newcomers alike about how public policies can build safer, more convenient streets for everyone.