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National Complete Streets Coalition

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.

09/23/2010 Web Version


  • New Haven, Connecticut Adopts New Design Manual
  • Newport Adopts First Resolution in Rhode Island
  • Complete Streets in Michigan's Upper Peninsula
  • Netcong, New Jersey Steps Up with Resolution
  • Islip, New York Is Second Community on Long Island with Policy
  • Kauai, Hawaii First Community to Adopt Policy After State Law
  • Help Us Track Policies!
  • Quick Takes: Policy Progress
  • Federal Policy Update


  • Our New Strategic Partnership Manager: Christine Green
  • American Public Works Association Joins Coalition
  • Complete Streets at Pro Walk Pro Bike, Landscape Architects Conferences
  • AARP Launches Campaigns in Indiana, Vermont
  • APTA to Release New Book on ADA Essentials, Host Bike-Transit Summit
  • Becoming a Coalition Partner Makes Sense for Synergy, LLC


  • "Complete" Bridges Connect Communities
  • Grassroots Advocates Advance the Complete Streets Movement
  • Diverse Voices Stand Up for Complete Streets
  • Quick Takes: Complete Streets Talk Across the Country
  • Incomplete Streets Death: Henrietta Strong


  • Upcoming Webinar: Complete Streets and Public Transportation
  • International Scan Recommends Complete Streets Policies
  • Walking and Cycling to Health
  • Livability Case Studies
  • Walkable Communities Can Save $1.66 Billion in Public Health Costs
  • New York City Analyzes Pedestrian Safety



New Haven, Connecticut Adopts New Design Manual
A September 2008 Order from the Board of Alders to develop a Complete Streets policy has resulted in the adoption of a new, comprehensive Complete Streets Design Manual (.pdf) for the City of New Haven. Unveiled in July and formally adopted on September 7, the manual establishes new guiding principles for street design and a process to involve community members as well as providing engineering guidance and tools.

Newport Adopts First Resolution in Rhode Island
The Newport City Council adopted Resolution 2010-130 (.pdf) last week, setting forth a policy to encourage the use of Complete Streets concepts in "the planning and redevelopment of transportation-related infrastructure improvements within the City of Newport." This is the first victory for Complete Streets advocates in Rhode Island, including the state chapters of AARP and the Sierra Club.

Complete Streets in Michigan's Upper Peninsula
On September 13, Manistique became the latest Michigan community to adopt a Complete Streets policy, and the second in the Upper Peninsula. The city's Complete Streets work group, in partnership with the Sault Tribe Strategic Alliance for Health, laid the groundwork for the unanimous adoption of the resolution over the past year. The group conducted presentations about Complete Streets throughout the community and completed thorough sidewalk and intersection audits, drawing on the expertise of walkability guru Dan Burden. The city's 3,000 residents will benefit from the resolution's commitment to Complete Streets.

Netcong, New Jersey Steps Up with Resolution
Netcong joined the growing ranks of New Jersey communities with Complete Streets policies on August 12. Their resolution (.pdf) "affirms that Complete Streets infrastructure addressing the needs of all users should be incorporated into all planning, design, approval, and implementation processes for any construction, reconstruction, or retrofit of streets, bridges, or other portions of the transportation network, including pavement resurfacing, restriping, and signalization operations." It also calls for municipal departments in the Northern New Jersey borough to make necessary changes to plans, codes, procedures, rules, and regulations to "integrate, accommodate, and balance the needs of all users."

Islip, New York Is Second Community on Long Island with Policy
The Town of Islip adopted their Complete Streets resolution (.pdf) on August 17 with the goal of improving safety, access, and mobility for all travelers in the town. It calls for all projects to be "designed and executed in a balanced, responsible, and equitable way to encourage travel by bicyclists, public transportation vehicles and their passengers, and pedestrians of all ages and abilities." Councilman Flotteron told the Tri-State Transportation Campaign that he hopes the new policy will make roads safe for people to walk or bicycle to the great downtowns in Islip and that it compliments their smart growth efforts.

Kauai, Hawaii First Community to Adopt Policy After State Law
The Kauai County Council unanimously passed Resolution No. 2010-48 (.pdf) on September 15, establishing a Complete Streets policy for the County. The Nutrition and Physical Coalition of Kauai County Built Environment Task Force (better known as Get Fit Kauai) led the charge, working closely with the Mayor and participating in a number of meetings about the policy. Kauai's resolution is the first to come after 2009's passage of a statewide Complete Streets law and is a great first step to ensure that law's intent becomes a reality across the state. Get Fit Kauai was joined by Kauai Path, AARP, Kauai Police Department, Grove Farm Developers, Kauai Economic Development Board, Malama Kauai and several Kauai residents in bringing about the resolution's passage.

Help Us Track Policies!
Every week, more communities are adopting Complete Streets policies. In addition to those listed above, we've heard about policies in Columbus, Mississippi; Crystal City, Missouri; and Ross, California. If you have copies of these policies - or others that we don't have on our Atlas - please let us know! Our tracking depends on supporters across the country sharing information with us.

Quick Takes: Policy Progress

  • Merced, CA: Draft guidelines for the city's Vision 2050 General Plan will incorporate a Complete Streets policy, the Merced Sun-Star reports.
  • Ojai, CA: The City's Planning Commission has begun efforts to update its Complete Streets Plan (.pdf), which will be a more inclusive planning tool than the Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan it replaces.
  • Decatur, GA: The City of Decatur held a recent community workshop on the implementation of intersection improvements on McDonough and Candler Streets, as outlined in the Community Transportation Plan, the city's Complete Streets policy. (Decatur Metro)
  • Utica, NY: In its draft Master Plan, the City of Utica is calling for adoption of a Complete Streets policy to help achieve its goal of an effective transportation system that includes all users.
  • Rochester, MN: A series of road repavings has offered the opportunity to roll out the City's Complete Streets policy by adding bike lanes during restriping. (Rochester Post Bulletin)
  • St. Cloud, MN: The regional planning agency is forming a committee to draft a Complete Streets policy to improve safety for pedestrians and bicyclists and provide better value for public investments in transportation. (St. Cloud Times)
  • Wisconsin: The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is offering workshops across the state to help local agencies understand the state's 2009 Complete Streets law and new administrative rules. Education of planners, engineers, and other decision makers is one of the four key steps to successful implementation of Complete Streets policies.
  • Hailey, ID: Despite strong support from the city's Planning and Zoning Commission, the City Council declined to adopt a Complete Streets plan last week. Most of the concerns were over the addition of new sidewalks in neighborhoods currently without them. (Idaho Mountain Express)

Federal Policy Update
We'd like to thank Representative Frank Pallone [NJ-6] for becoming the 60th member of the House to co-sponsor HR 1443, the Complete Streets Act. If your members of Congress haven't cosponsored yet, please make sure you tell them to support Complete Streets. And if they've already signed on, send your thanks!

President Obama's recent plan to reform and expand the nation's transportation infrastructure drew praise from Transportation for America for its focus on rewarding projects that deliver a wide array of benefits to American communities. President Obama called for the creation of an Infrastructure Bank, which would invest in projects based on performance measures and a race-to-the-top style competitive grants program. The Coalition believes Complete Streets policies would be an essential part of the mix in a performance-driven transportation system. Complete Streets policies have been demonstrated to deliver improvements in all five of the areas specified by the President's press release: safety, environmental sustainability, economic competitiveness, and livability.  

Last month Transportation Secretary LaHood announced that communities in thirteen states will receive $3.5 million in federal aid for infrastructure projects that will improve safety, traffic flow, and access for all users. One of the projects receiving funding is in Dallas, Texas, where the city will create a Complete Streets design manual and develop 15 corridor-specific street designs for future demonstration projects.


Our New Strategic Partnership Manager: Christine Green
We are excited to announce we've hired Christine Green to fill our new position of Strategic Partnership Manager. Ms. Green comes to us from the Columbus, Ohio, Public Health Department, where she developed and managed their Healthy Places program to promote healthy and active living through development policies by creating places that foster physical activity as a part of everyday life. We're looking forward to putting her talents to work leveraging the tremendous strength of our diverse coalition on new collaborative projects and activities. She will also help coordinate our federal policy work and manage the creation of our new performance evaluation system to ensure that Complete Streets policies are leading to change inside agencies and on the ground. She joins us on October 12th, and we look forward to welcoming her to our team!

We also welcome a new Federal Complete Streets Fellow, Brendan McEntee.  He has already served in internships with two Coalition partners - America Bikes and the American Society of Landscape Architects. A graduate of Wesleyan University, he gets high marks for his ability to get others to follow through, so don't be surprised if you hear from him! We want to thank Transportation for America for continuing to fund this important staff position for us.

American Public Works Association Joins Coalition
We are pleased to welcome the American Public Works Association as a Silver Partner in our Coalition. APWA's support will be critical as they serve as the educational and professional association of more than 29,000 public works professionals in the United States and beyond. APWA and offers many forums for professionals to exchange ideas and best practices (they recently hosted a Complete Streets webinar with Barbara McCann and Dan Burden), and they also work to bring public works-related topics to attention in local, state, and federal arenas. APWA has 64 chapters across the United States as well as offices in Kansas City, Missouri and Washington, DC. Welcome, APWA!

Complete Streets at Pro Walk Pro Bike, Landscape Architects Conferences
Steering Committee member American Society of Landscape Architects invited us to speak about Complete Streets and federal policy at their recent Annual Meeting. At the same time, leaders from CalTrans and the City of Charlotte, North Carolina were delivering their Complete Streets stories to attendees in another session!

The following week, Complete Streets had a strong presence at the Pro Walk Pro Bike Conference in Chattanooga. Sponsored by Steering Committee member National Center for Bicycling and Walking, the conference featured numerous sessions on Complete Streets. Coalition partners, including the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals, National Association of REALTORS, SvR Design Company, Toole Design Group, and Bikes Belong, were also a big part of the conference.

AARP Launches Campaigns in Indiana, Vermont
As part of its push for more livable, age-friendly communities, AARP Indiana is stepping up behind Complete Streets campaigns across Indiana and Vermont. So far, a handful of jurisdictions in the two states have adopted their own policies, but AARP believes many more can benefit from the Complete Streets approach. In Indiana, AARP is focusing on Lafayette/West Lafayette and Fort Wayne next. They plan to reach out to the public through ads on buses and billboards, a website, briefings, and local media. AARP Vermont, in coordination with other groups across the state, is in the midst of its own Complete Streets Week. Volunteers will do walkability audits all week, looking at traffic signals, crosswalks, and sidewalks. The results will be shared with local decision makers to inspire adoption of new policies and procedures.

APTA to Release New Book on ADA Essentials, Host Bike-Transit Summit
At its annual meeting early next month, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) will host a session entitled "The Letter & the Spirit of the ADA Law" to review the key pieces of the landmark legislation as applied to public transportation agencies. Attendees will receive a new book produced by APTA and Easter Seals Project ACTION. APTA is also hosting a half-day peer-exchange program at the conference: the "Forging Transit-Bicycle Partnerships Summit." The Summit was born in part out of the connections bicycle groups and APTA have made through their participation in the National Complete Streets Coalition, and among other issues, will discuss how bikes and buses can do a better job sharing the road.

Becoming a Coalition Partner Makes Sense for Synergy, LLC
Synergy, LLC has joined the National Complete Streets Coalition as a Bronze Partner. Based in Washington, DC, Synergy specializes in creating accessible transportation and public rights-of-way for people of all abilities. Principal Dennis Cannon draws from decades of experience in accessibility, having recently retired from the U.S. Access Board, where he wrote regulations for ADA compliance. Partnering with the Coalition is important to him: "A pedestrian friendly environment is an accessible environment, and I think Complete Streets is the answer. I'd like to do as much as I can, and as a Partner, I can get the message out that I can share my expertise."

Not a Coalition Partner yet? Join Dennis and our other Partners in making complete streets a reality across America.


"Complete" Bridges Connect Communities
Complete Streets means more than single, unconnected streets. And in communities with natural barriers like rivers and lakes, building "complete" bridges is necessary to safely connect people to their destinations, regardless of how they travel. The opportunities to make these connections are rare, but communities across North America are realizing the benefits of building bridges that safely carry all travelers, regardelss of mode.

Grassroots Advocates Advance the Complete Streets Movement
The Alliance for Biking & Walking, a member of our Steering Committee, wrote about their commitment (and their members' commitment!) to Complete Streets on our blog late last month. The Alliance is proud to be part of the National Complete Streets Coalition because they share the Coalition's vision - streets that invite active transportation because they are safe, accessible and enjoyable for bicyclists and pedestrians. The Alliance recognizes Complete Streets campaigns as one of the most powerful tools for grassroots advocates to transform their communities and to build organizational capacity at the local, regional, and state level.

Diverse Voices Stand Up for Complete Streets
Inspired by people around the country talking about what Complete Streets means to them, Executive Director Barbara McCann recently reflected on two articles that conveyed the diversity of people championing - and winning - Complete Streets policies. In Michigan, the Saline Reporter focused on two local children with disabilities who have been great advocates for the state's new Complete Streets law. And in New Haven, Connecticut, the elected officials who approved a new Complete Streets Design Manual for the city, arrived for the vote by carpool, bicycle, and bus.

Quick Takes: Complete Streets Talk Across the Country

  • Los Angeles, CA: Local advocates are urging Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to issue a directive for engineers and department heads to abide by the state's Complete Streets law, which goes into effect this January. The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition also asked for transportation decision makers to attend training seminars.
  • Lafayette, LA: A recent trip to Colorado cities inspired a team of local officials to pursue Complete Streets in Lafayette. "The term we heard a lot and the term we hope to hear in Lafayette is 'complete streets,'" said Johnny Orgeron, a planner with the Lafayette Consolidated Government. (The Daily Advertiser)
  • Kentucky: Kentucky Youth Advocates (KYA) drew media attention to Complete Streets late last month, citing the health benefits for children. KYA is a member of the Safe Routes to School National Partnership's State Network, which is advocating for Complete Streets policies in communities across the state. The SRTS National Partnership is a member of our Steering Committee. (Public News Service Kentucky)
  • Massachusetts: Moving Together 2010, the Commonwealth's annual statewide walking and bicycling conference, will focus on the Massachusetts Department of Transportation's GreenDOT initiative. GreenDOT emphasizes sustainable, healthy transportation though Complete Streets.
  • Jonesville, MI: The benefits of a Complete Streets approach were presented to the Village Council on September 1. (Hillsdale Daily News)
  • Marquette, MI: The Michigan Complete Streets Coalition will host a Complete Streets session in Marquette on September 30 from 11:30 to 2:00.
  • New Hope, MN: Karen Nikolai of Hennepin County describes how a meeting of organizations committed to active living resulted in a new champion for Complete Streets, Councilmember John Elder of New Hope. When he attended a Council meeting later that evening, he was very supportive of new plans for a road diet in his community.
  • New Jersey: AARP New Jersey President Sy Larson and Advocacy Manager Douglas Johnson wrote to their local papers urging their fellow Jerseyans to advocate for a federal Complete Streets policy, emphasizing the potential positive impact on transportation options across the state.
  • New York: In a recent letter to the editor, AARP New York's Robert O'Connell argued that as the state's residents become older - 20% of New Yorkers will be over the age of 65 in 2025 - Complete Streets are necessary to maintain a high quality of life and independence. He urged the State Assembly to move ahead with its Complete Streets bill; similar language has already passed the Senate. (Albany Times Union)
  • Essex, NY: Essex County Public Health and Rural Action Now have banded with the County Planning Department and other organizations to form the Essex County Complete Streets Coalition. They plan to advocate for and support the development, adoption, and implementation of Complete Streets policies across the County. (Adirondack Daily Enterprise)
  • Edmonds, WA: The Cascade Land Conservancy gathered residents to discuss the ongoing campaign for a Complete Streets ordinance in the City.
  • Freeland, WA: Island County invited several speakers to help residents understand how Complete Streets can make their community of 1,313 more walkable and livable. (South Whidbey Record)
  • Seattle, WA: The Streets for All Coalition urges Seattle residents to attend upcoming City Budget hearings and ask City Council to prioritize Complete Streets in their 2011 budget.
  • Spokane, WA: The Spokane Regional Transportation Council, in partnership with the Complete Streets Education Coalition, produced a 7-minute video explaining the basics of Complete Streets and what a policy might mean locally.
  • Tacoma, WA: The American Planning Association - Washington Chapter and the Planning Association of Washington awarded the City of Tacoma with the 2010 Joint Planning Award for the city's Complete Streets Design Guidelines, adopted last fall. The jurors found the guidelines useful and pragmatic, providing new tools for planners and engineers tackling local transportation issues.
  • La Crosse, WI: The La Crosse County Health Department, with funding from the federal Communities Putting Prevention to Work program, is kicking off their Complete Streets campaign with a public meeting on October 5. (La Cross Tribune)

Incomplete Streets Death: Henrietta Strong
Henrietta Strong was fatally struck by a car on September 5 at an unmarked crosswalk on a busy arterial. Only about a mile from her home, the 65-year-old great-grandmother was attempting to cross State Road 520 at Wilson Avenue. The 6-lane roadway is lined with restaurants and carries not only many cars, but also many pedestrians and bicyclists. While crosswalks exist at other intersections, none are present where Strong was killed.


Upcoming Webinar: Complete Streets and Public Transportation
On October 7, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center to Prevent Childhood Obesity will offer a webinar on the effective advocacy and implementation of Complete Streets policies, with a focus on providing access to public transportation. Coalition Executive Director Barbra McCann is a featured speaker. Be sure to register today!

International Scan Recommends Complete Streets Policies
The Federal Highway Administration has issued a Public Policies for Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety and Mobility (.pdf) report that details effective and strategic applications to improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety and mobility drawn from the findings of an extensive international scan. The review identifies Complete Streets policies as key to supporting livable communities and safe transportation options.

Walking and Cycling to Health
With data from 15 countries, 50 states, and 47 of America's largest cities, "Walking and Cycling to Health: A Comparative Analysis of City, State and International Data" establishes a correlation between increased active transportation and reduced obesity. The report is available online through the American Journal of Public Health and will be available in print next month.

Livability Case Studies
Transportation for America has published a collection of twelve case studies from small cities and towns across the country, showing how smaller communities are working to become more livable. The examples range from the Menominee Indian Reservation in Wisconsin to Taos, New Mexico.

Walkable Communities Can Save $1.66 Billion in Public Health Costs
Recent data from the American Lung Association in California shows significant public health benefits from pursuing more compact, sustainable development in the state. In communities with more transportation options and nearer destinations, the air will be cleaner, reducing pollution-related illness and death and avoiding significant health costs.

New York City Analyzes Pedestrian Safety
In a groundbreaking study, the New York City Department of Transportation examines over 7,000 records of crashes that have injured or killed pedestrians and identifies the underlying causes. The report also identifies a range of actions to cut the number of pedestrian fatalities in half by 2030, including more Complete Streets improvements and launching a 20 mph zone next year.


"If we can find ways to make it easier for kids to walk to school or someone to ride their bike to the market or someone to catch the bus and someone to drive to work - if we can find ways for everyone to do that and not spend more money, what a great deal. That's like getting the most bang for the buck."
 - Cathryn Hanson, Planner, St. Cloud (MN) Area Planning Organization

"If doctors and other health experts designed our cities, they would look quite different than the sprawling communities we see today. Cities would provide more healthy choices, more opportunities for walking and biking, better access to transit, less congestion, more housing close to workplaces and more parks for kids and families to enjoy."
- Sonal R. Patel, M.D., American Lung Association in California Board Member and Director of White Memorial Pediatric Medical Groups Division of Allergy and Immunology in Los Angeles

"These pieces don't necessarily automatically fit into a complete puzzle - they are pieces of the puzzle. I think that's important for all of us to remember, we have to start someplace."
- Richard Freese, Director of Public Works in Rochester MN, on new bike lanes being installed as the community's Complete Streets policy is implemented

"The goal is in our planning that consideration of bicyclists and pedestrians become second nature. This planning should not be an after thought but part of the process."
- Larry Kirch, City Planner, La Crosse Wisconsin

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