This monthly newsletter issued by the National Complete Streets Coalition provides a roundup
of news related to complete streets policies --- policies to ensure that the entire right
of way is routinely designed and operated to enable safe access for all users. Please pass
it around! And visit www.completestreets.org to stay informed.
We need your support! Make a donation to support the National Complete Streets Coalition online.
COMPLETE STREETS POLICY PROGRESS
- US Conference of Mayors Endorses Complete Streets
- Scottsdale, AZ Includes Complete Streets
- Iowa City Subdivision Policy
- Residents of Flint Michigan Have Their Say on Complete Streets Policy
- Bikeways Plan Blocked in Dayton
- Federal Policy - Take Action!
- Tell Us About Your Policy Implementation Experience!
- Moving Away from High Gas Prices Briefing
- ITE Awards Recognize Complete Streets Policy, Project
- ITE Best Project Awards
- Design Competition in New York
- Minnesota Ready for Complete Streets
- Best Practices Symposium Launch
- MIG Joins as a Partner
- APA and EDA Launch Online Series
- Bill Wilkinson, Head of NCBW, Retires
- Bicycle Industry Becomes a Political Force
- Web Traffic Skyrocketing
COMPLETE STREETS NEWS
- WalkScore to Rank Neighborhoods
- Working for Complete Streets Around the Country
- New Complete Streets and Gas Prices Fact Sheet
- STEP Program Comment Period
- Resource For Transit Customers with Disabilities
- Cross Median Crashes Report
- Funder's Network: Transportation & Healthy Communities Paper
COMPLETE STREETS POLICY PROGRESS
US Conference of Mayors Endorses Complete Streets
The US Conference of Mayors recently adopted a resolution stating that Governors and state leadership should embrace complete streets policies, even if there is no federal incentive or policy. The resolution also encourages Congress to provide incentives to state and local governments to adopt and implement complete streets policies in the next transportation reauthorization bill. The resolution was introduced by Normal, Illinois Mayor Chris Koos at the US Conference of Mayors' 76th annual meeting in Miami in June. This resolution, as well as all other adopted resolutions from the meeting, can be viewed here.
Scottsdale, AZ Includes Complete Streets
We just learned about it, but the City Council of Scottsdale, Arizona unanimously adopted a "Transportation Master Plan" with a Complete Street policy provision in January 2008. The plan is the first of its kind in Scottsdale since the 1980s when the city's population was less than a third of the estimated 240,000 it has swelled to today. The plan addresses all facets of the city's transportation system and incorporates a specific complete streets policy objective designed to "promote safe and convenient access and travel for all users of all ages and abilities: pedestrians, bicyclists, transit vehicles and riders, and equestrians, as well as cars and trucks." For more information, the entire Scottsdale Transportation Master Plan can be viewed here; the policy is located in the Streets Element section.
Have a Policy? Tell Us About It!
Our six-month delay in learning about the Scottsdale policy brings up an important point: we can only share information about new policies if people tell us about them! If your community has adopted or is adopting a complete streets policy, drop us a line so we can share your success with others! Write email@example.com. Thanks!
Iowa City Subdivision Policy
The City Council of Iowa City, Iowa is considering new planning and zoning requirements for subdivisions. They include a complete street requirement which would accommodate for pedestrians, bikes, cars, and buses. The action follows adoption of a general complete streets resolution by the Council in July 2007. Other provisions in the proposed subdivion rules would promote a system of interconnected streets rather than cul-de-sacs, create neighborhood parks and open space, and require long blocks to be broken up with interconnected sidewalks. The changes have been recommended to the City Council by the Planning and Zoning Commission, but have yet to be voted on. For more information, read the entire Daily Iowan article.
Residents of Flint, Michigan Have Their Say on Complete Streets Policy
The Planning Department in Genesee County Michigan recently held a citizen charette to help write a complete streets policy for inclusion in the Flint region's Long Range Transportation Plan. The day-long charette began by giving attendees an orientation to complete streets, and providing detailed maps and information about current conditions in the County. Workshop participants then used an exercise developed by the National Complete Streets Coalition to begin to write elements of the policy, which will be refined by staff and shared among other stakeholders in the area.
The event followed a Complete Streets Implementation Workshop delivered in June and sponsored by The Disability Network as part of the National Complete Streets Coalition Implementation Assistance Project. Contact us if you are interested in bringing a workshop to your community.
Bikeways Plan Blocked in Dayton
A proposed bikeways plan in Dayton, Ohio has come under much scrutiny from county engineers and others fearing it would jeopardize their ability to maintain roads and bridges. Much of the engineer's opposition comes from the plan's recommendation to adopt a complete streets policy, as they don't wish to see "highway transportation funding put into bikeways". However, those supporting the plan strongly disagree with this line of thinking, claiming that transportation funding should be used for all modes of transportation, not solely automobiles. Read the entire article from the Dayton Daily News.
Federal Policy - Take Action!
Take five minutes today and let your voice be heard in support of the Senate and House complete streets bills. Our new action page will let you personalize and send a letter asking your Members of Congress to support the federal complete streets legislation: Senate bill S.2686 introduced by Senator Harkin and House bill H.R. 5951 introduced by Representative Matsui.
Current co-sponsors of the Senate bill are Senator Carper (DE), Senator Coleman (MN), Senator Durbin (IL), and Senator Sanders (VT). Co-sponsors of the House bill include Blumenauer (OR-3), Cleaver (MO-5), Cohen (TN-9), Lee (CA-9), Tauscher (CA-10), Woolsey (CA-6).
Tell Us About Your Policy Implementation Experience!
Members of Congress, states, and cities that are considering complete streets policies are wondering what implementation will be like. If your jurisdiction already has a policy, please consider writing us a letter about your experiences that we can share with others.
Moving Away from High Gas Prices Briefing
Join us tomorrow on Capitol Hill for a briefing featuring complete streets, sponsored by the Environmental and Energy Study Institute. Representative Matsui and Representative Blumenauer will speak, as well as Chris Leinberger of the Brookings Institution, Julie Pulidindi of the National League of Cities, Art Guzzetti of the American Public Transportation Association, and Barbara McCann, Coordinator of the National Complete Streets Coalition. The briefing looks at policy options to reduce the impact of rising gas prices on consumers and dependence on oil. It is open to the public and we encourage members of Congress to attend. Read more about the event.
ITE Awards Recognize Complete Streets Policy, Project
The Charlotte Urban Street Design Guidelines (USDG), adopted by the city in late 2007, were recognized by the Institute of Transportation Engineers for its unique methods of approaching planning and design recommendations. The guidelines were created following the complete streets policy contained in Charlotte's award-winning Transportation Action Plan. The Guidelines seek to create a context-based complete street network to accommodate growth in the region. The guide is different than many others, as it provides a set of tools to ensure that complete streets will work for any context. The Complete Streets Implementation Workshops (pdf) use a Six-Step Process based on the USDG. View the guidelines online.
ITE Best Project Awards
The Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) awarded the Ninth Avenue Complete Street project in New York the annual ITE Best Project Award. Prepared by the New York Department of Transportation, the project includes the first urban on-street parking-protected and signal-protected bicycle facility in the US. The street plan incorporates several user-friendly design features such as shortened pedestrian crossings, raised pedestrian refuge islands, turn bays, and signage, and the bike lane is separated from vehicles by eight feet for added safety. For more information, the entire Ninth Avenue Complete Streets Project can be viewed here (pdf).
Another innovative project in New York received attention last week on the front page of the New York Times. The city is closing two traffic lanes on Broadway in Midtown to create a public esplanade, a bicycle lane and pedestrian walkway.
Design Competition in New York
Transportation Alternatives is sponsoring a project offering New Yorkers a $6,000 prize for the best complete street design for the heavily traversed intersection of 4th Avenue and 9th Street in Brooklyn, at the western edge of Park Slope. Characterized by speeding automobiles, heavy trucks, nonexistent medians, double parking, and a lot of asphalt, Transportation Alternatives and the Brooklyn community hope that the competition can generate viable street design options that are more suited to a modern vision of the city and successfully accommodate multiple modes of transportation. Despite all the activity in New York, to date, New York City has not formally adopted a complete streets policy. For more information on the competition and how to enter, visit the Designing the 21st Century Street official website.
Minnesota Ready for Complete Streets
Coalition Coordinator Barbara McCann and ITE representative John LaPlante gave a presentation on Complete Streets to an eager crowd in downtown Minneapolis on July 1st. The forum, sponsored by the Urban Land Institute and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, proved so popular the location was moved twice to accommodate the close to 150 registrants. McCann covered the policy terrain on complete streets, while LaPlante delved into the street designs that work for pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit users.
Best Practices Symposium Launch
The American Planning Association and the National Complete Streets Coalition brought together several experts and observers in Eagan, Minnesota June 30-July 1st to hold a scoping session to kick-off the Complete Streets Best Practice Manual. The American Planning Association plans to publish the manual as a PAS Report at the end of the two-year project. The scoping session was sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota. Learn more about the project and submit comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
MIG Joins as a Partner
MIG, Inc. joined the Coalition as a Silver Partner this month. The firm, founded in 1981, focuses on planning and designing environments that support human development through a collaborative and participatory process. MIG's urban design, streetscape and corridors plans embrace the concept of Complete Streets and recognize that successful streetscapes must be people places first, managing vehicular circulation so it can be in harmony with pedestrian patterns. Two recent examples include: the redesign and reconfiguration of West Capitol Boulevard in West Sacramento from a 6-lane arterial to a divided road with 4 travel lanes, dedicated bike lanes as well as a vastly improved pedestrian environment. In North Las Vegas, MIG has designed a similar multi-lane boulevard for the downtown that will separate bikes and transit from the main traffic and serve as one of the first Complete Streets in the area. Welcome, MIG!
To learn more about our Partnership Program, download our Partner Package (pdf).
APA and EDA Launch Online Series
In partnership with the American Planning Association, the Economic Development Administration is producing a 30-minute broadcast called Economic Development Today. The FREE July 17, 2:30pm EST broadcast will be a robust discussion on the role of environmental sustainability and its impact on economic development. Learn how U.S. economic regions can strengthen competitiveness through innovative and green sustainable development strategies. Guests will discuss the costs and benefits of green building as well as how the private sector can successfully invest in and profit from green development projects, which will also cover complete streets. There will also be a focus on the increasing number of green jobs and how communities can attract these new green industries. View panelists and register online.
Bill Wilkinson, Head of NCBW, Retires
Bill Wilkinson, the Executive Director of the National Center for Bicycling and Walking, is retiring after a long and eventful career. He deserves recognition here because he was the first to fight for the precursor to Complete Streets - the concept of 'routine accommodation' for bicycles. He worked hard to make the idea a requirement for federal spending, and ultimately played a big part in the Federal Guidance issued in 2000 that has become the basis for many a complete streets policy. He and NCBW have helped the Coalition out when we've needed it - and he even spent a good part of our February Strategy Meeting in the kitchen, preparing food for all the hungry participants! So thank you to Bill, and we hope to continue to work with him and with the new Executive Director at NCBW, Sharon Roerty.
Bicycle Industry Becomes a Political Force
Tim Blumenthal, Executive Director of the Bikes Belong Coalition, flew back from Paris to meet with Barack Obama about federal bicycling programs. This was an important moment for the bike industry, to have this type of meeting with a presidential candidate. This meeting was timely to build support for alternative modes of transportation as the transportation reauthorization bill is on the table next year. Read more about the meeting and support of bicycling in Congress at Congressional Quarterly online. Bikes Belong is a funder of the National Complete Streets Coalition.
Web Traffic Skyrocketing
As rising gas prices shift into the forefront of people's minds across America, visiting the Complete the Streets website has, too! Our web traffic has more than doubled over the past year, and the last few months we've consistently been getting over 400 visitors and more than 3,000 hits per day. Stay updated and visit our website regularly, www.completestreets.org, and be sure to check out "The Latest" column on the homepage, and stay updated on the Federal page.
COMPLETE STREETS NEWS
WalkScore to Rank Neighborhoods
The folks at WalkScore.com are releasing a ranking tomorrow of the walkability of more than 2,500 neighborhoods in 40 of nation's largest cities. The ranking is based on proximity to destinations, and does not measure the completeness of the street network. But it is sure to whet the appetites of Americans for more walkable neighborhoods that feature complete streets. Beginning Thursday, July 17th be sure to visit http://www.walkscore.com to see the compelling maps and statistics for each of the 40 cities ranked and their walkable neighborhoods, and sign the petition for walkability while you are at it. Barbara McCann has joined the WalkScore Advisory Board.
Working for Complete Streets Around the Country
Round up of news articles featuring people working on complete streets:
New Complete Streets and Gas Prices Fact Sheet
Download and distribute the new fact sheet titled Complete Streets and High Gas Prices (pdf). Use this at public meetings, share with elected officials, and spread the word on how complete streets can help reduce our dependence on oil. Other complete streets fact sheets are on the Benefits page of the website.
STEP Program Comment Period
The Surface Transportation Environment and Planning Cooperative Research Program (STEP) of FHWA is seeking comments on what research topics it should fund in the coming year. The Notice of the request is available in a text version and PDF version.
Think about what Complete Streets related research you'd like to see, and give them a comment!
Resource For Transit Customers with Disabilities
A new publication from Easter Seals Project Action titled "Including People with Disabilities in Coordinated Transportation Plans" is available online for people that are working to include disabled people in transportation planning. The fact sheet is available for download and print in the Clearinghouse free of charge.
Cross Median Crashes Report
The University of Minnesota Intelligent Transportation Systems Institute has a report available that looks at the identification of highway sections where medians may be most effective in preventing crashes. To download the study, visit TRB's website.
Funder's Network: Transportation & Healthy Communities Paper
The Funders' Network for Smart Growth, recently released a paper examining the connection between transportation policies and practices and key issues. The most recent in a series of papers, Transportation and Healthy Communities, focuses on the physical health problems for which the current transportation system and the motor vehicle are the attributed source, which include: crashes, air pollution and obesity. The paper cites the implementation of "Complete Streets" policies and the "Healthy Places, Healthy People" movement as viable solutions. For more information visit the Funder's Network official website or to view the entire Transportation and Healthy Communities paper click here (pdf).
"The United States, which has lagged far behind Europe in developing diversified urban transport systems, is being swept by a "complete streets" movement, an effort to ensure that streets are friendly to pedestrians and bicycles as well as to cars. Many American communities lack sidewalks and bike lanes, making it difficult for pedestrians and cyclists to get around safely, particularly where streets are heavily used. This cars-only model is being challenged by the National Complete Streets Coalition, a powerful assemblage of citizen groups including the Natural Resources Defense Council, AARP (an organization of 38 million older Americans), and local and national cycling organizations."
- www.PeopleandPlanet.net, UK
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