Complete Streets:
Changing Policy
March 2015
1
What are Complete Streets?
2
Complete Streets are streets for everyone, no matter
who they are or how they travel.
What are Complete Streets?
3
Safe Comfortable Convenient
What are Complete Streets?
4
Safe Comfortable Convenient
Complete Streets policies
Ensure that the entire right-of-way is
planned, designed, constructed, operated,
and maintained ...
Complete Streets:
Is a high-level policy
direction
Changes the everyday
decision-making
processes and
systems
Represents a...
Complete Streets is not:
• One “special” street project
• A design prescription
• A mandate for immediate retrofit
• A sil...
Policy adoption accelerates
8
Smart Growth America (2014). Complete Streets Policy Analysis 2014
31 44
62 85
136
219
374
5...
Policies adopted at all levels
9
By the end of 2014:
States : 30*
MPOs : 58
Counties : 58
Cities : 564
Total : 712
*Includ...
All types of communities
10
6%
6%
9%
7%
14%
39%
19%
Large City
Midsize City
Small City
Large Suburb
Midsize Suburb
Small S...
All types of policies
11
Smart Growth America (2014). Complete Streets Policy Analysis 2014
15.3%
45.8%
0.4%
1.1%
5.2%
7.4...
Why adopt a policy?
To change practice,
integrating the
needs of all road
users into everyday
transportation
planning and
...
Why adopt a policy?
To gradually create
a complete network
of streets that serve
all users.
13
Why adopt a policy?
To save money: in the
long run, retrofit projects
always cost more than
getting it right the first
tim...
Why adopt a policy?
To provide
innovative
transportation
planners with the
political and
community support
for doing thing...
Why adopt a policy?
To apply solutions
across a
community and
address systematic
inequities.
16
Why adopt a policy?
To create fast, low-
cost, and high-
impact changes in
your community.
17
Goal: Successful Policies
1. Sets a vision.
2. Includes all users and all modes.
3. Applies to all phases of all applicabl...
Goal: Successful Policies
Vision
What do you want from your streets? What
will consistently rally support from the
general public and elected offici...
All users & modes
A clearly stated
directive to include
the needs of all
people, regardless
of how they travel,
into the e...
All projects & phases
Integrate Complete Streets into planning, planning,
design, construction of all projects:
• New cons...
Exceptions
Provides flexibility, but must not be exploited.
Three common exceptions:
• Where user groups are prohibited
• ...
Network & connectivity
More than one or two
“complete” streets
Connected, integrated
system that provides
for all users
En...
Other agencies
Many agencies have a stake in the
funding, planning, and development of our
streets.
Create partnerships
Co...
Design guidance & flexibility
Use the best and
latest design
standards available
Allow for flexible
approaches to
design
26
Context sensitivity
Design relates well to
type of neighborhood
and buildings
27
Performance measures
Systematic collection and reporting of data
Ensures compliance with policy goals
Enables informed dec...
Tool: Policy Workshops
• Bring together stakeholders and decision
makers
• Encourage open dialogue about challenges and
so...
Tool: Policy Workbook
Detailed discussion of &
questions to ask at each step
in developing a policy
• Right type of policy...
Tool: Policy Workbook
• Use in tandem with Policy
Analysis
• Work with other
stakeholders to answer
questions, write langu...
Tool: Policy Analysis
32
• Compare your policy to
policies in similar
communities
• Find highly-rated policies
to serve as...
From Policy to Practice
Effective implementation means:
Organizing implementation activities
Restructuring procedures, pol...
Results: Seattle, WA
34
In 2011 and 2012:
= 51 pedestrian countdown signals added
= 21 school zones with improved signage
...
Results: Charlotte, NC
In six years:
= 12.4 miles of road conversions completed
= 40 miles of signed bike routes added
= 4...
Results: Minneapolis, MN
2013 population: 400,070
Area: 54 square miles
36
Through 2010
= 17.8 miles of bike routes with s...
Results: West Jefferson, NC
• Adapting to changing conditions
• Embraced decrease in commercial traffic
by reclaiming righ...
Results: West Jefferson, NC
•$500K in new
private investment
•10 new businesses
•55 new jobs
•Vacancies dropped
from 33 to...
Results: Hamburg NY
• Narrowed lanes
• Modern
roundabouts
instead of signals
• Crosswalks, curb
extensions
extensions
• “S...
• $7m add’l investment
in 33 buildings
• Doubled property
values
• 3% vacancy rate
(village rate of 10%)
40
Results: Hambu...
Myrtle Beach, SC
• 5-lane road along
main street  two
auto lanes, two
bicycle lanes, and a
turn lane
• Also: sidewalk and...
Myrtle Beach, SC
• Collision frequency
dropped by 400%
• Collisions less severe
• Average daily traffic
decreased from 15,...
43
Washington, D.C.
44
Washington, D.C.
For more information
• Model policies & reports
• Best Complete Streets Policies
• Local Policy Workbook
• Implementation ...
National Complete Streets Coalition
Steering Committee
46
AARP
AECOM
Alliance for Biking & Walking
America Walks
American ...
Copyright & use
This presentation is licensed under a Creative
Commons license permitting non-commercial use
with attribut...
Smart Growth America is the only national organization
dedicated to researching, advocating for and leading
coalitions to ...
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Complete Streets Policy Development 101

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In this presentation, we review the basics of developing a strong Complete Streets policy.

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  • The streets of our cities and towns are an important part of our communities. They allow children to get to school and parents to get to work. They bring together neighbors and draw visitors to neighborhood stores. These streets ought to be designed for everyone – whether young or old, on foot or on bicycle, in a car or in a bus – but too often they are designed only for speeding cars or creeping traffic jams.

    Now, in communities across the country, a movement is growing to “complete” the streets. States, cities, and towns are asking their planners and engineers to build roads that are safer, more accessible, and easier for everyone. In the process, they are creating better communities for people to live, play, work, and shop.
    Photo: Charlotte NC DOT
  • Complete Streets are streets for everyone. They are designed and operated to enable safe access for all users. Pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and public transportation users of all ages and abilities are able to safely move along and across a complete street.

    Photos, L-R: Pamela Palma, pedbikeimages.org; Dan Burden, Walkable and Livable Communities Institute;
  • Complete Streets make it easy to cross the street, walk to shops, and bicycle to work. They allow buses to run on time and make it safe for people to walk to and from train stations.

    Photos (all): Dan Burden, Walkable and Livable Communities Institute
  • This is what complete streets is about – making sure our transportation network works for all users every time there’s a new project.

    Photo: Michael Hicks, Minneapolis, MN, Washington Avenue at the University of Minnesota’s East Bank Campus
  • Creating complete streets means transportation agencies must change their approach to community roads. By adopting a Complete Streets policy, communities direct their transportation planners and engineers to routinely design and operate the entire right of way to enable safe access for all users, regardless of age, ability, or mode of transportation. This means that every transportation project will make the street network better and safer for drivers, transit users, pedestrians, and bicyclists – making your town a better place to live.

    Photo: Charlotte, NC
  • Complete Streets is not about special projects. It’s about changing the way we approach transportation projects on all streets.
    It’s not about specific design elements. Implementation of Complete Streets is flexible and context-sensitive.
    Adopting a policy doesn’t mean all roads have to be changed all at once. Changes can be made a little at a time and done along with routine maintenance.
    Complete Streets won’t address all concerns, which will still need attention. Complete Streets policies are one important piece in ensuring our states are fiscally and physically healthy.
  • More than 712 policies were in place by the end of 2014, with 74 adopted in 2014 alone.
  • The movement is not limited to states or large cities; communities of all sizes find these policies valuable. Of the 564 municipalities with Complete Streets policies, 218 (or 39 percent) are suburban communities with fewer than 30,000 residents. Small towns, often in rural areas, are well represented: one in five of all Complete Streets policies were adopted in these jurisdictions.

    Overall, the state of New Jersey, with 118 policies, and Michigan, with 81 policies, are by far the national leaders in total numbers of jurisdictions with adopted policies, while California, New York, and Florida are adding to their totals.
  • The types of policies in place are very diverse. While most take the form of a resolution adopted by city or county councils, jurisdictions are commonly using changes to municipal code and the adoption of city policies. City policies adopted by an elected board continue to grow in prevalence, representing 39% of all policies adopted in 2014, up from 31% in 2013, and 21% of all policies.
  • Complete streets is as much a process as it is an outcome. A complete streets approach means changing expectations at the concept stage. It’s about planning ahead for your vision. For example, Seattle is developing streetscape plans and amending them to their Right of Way Improvements Manual – this ensures all work done on the corridor will accomplish this overall end vision.
    This point is also about operations and maintenance: making the vision applicable to all departments and agencies that work with the roadway. For example, thinking about older pedestrians when adjusting signal timing at intersections. It also helps in creating transit ready areas – providing the ROW improvements with transit goal in mind.

    Photo: Dan Burden, Walkable and Livable Communities Institute
  • Starting from the very beginning, the concept, the vision, ensures a network to support everyone, regardless of how they travel, is possible. It is a gradual process and incremental progress is still progress! For growing communities, this can mean improving a street network around the desired/planned development that supports projected additional auto traffic, but still provides for the people walking and bicycling. Complete Streets policy defines this vision from the start and enables the gradual creation of networks.

    Photo: Stephen Lee Davis, Transportation for America
  • Early multi-modal scoping saves money by avoiding costly project delays. Without a policy, bicycle, pedestrian, and public transportation accommodations are often debated too late in the design process and are considered a disruption rather than necessary and beneficial project features. This creates expensive design revisions, time delays, and erodes public support. Furthermore, the failure to accommodate these user groups can trigger an expensive retrofit project at later date.

    Photo- Washington State DOT, Seattle, WA sidewalk construction
  • Dedicated staff needs supportive high-level officials and decision makers. Without that support, their input is marginalized. Going through the process of developing a complete streets policy, educating the elected officials and community – and others in the DOT – helps give these innovators the political and community support they need. It also allows the necessary process of trying things and seeing what happens. Pilot projects have been so important in many communities – not only to check their internal data and forecasting, but also as a tool to communicate the vision to the community and decision makers.

    Photo: People St / LADOT, Silverlake neighborhood of Los Angeles
  • In taking a comprehensive approach to transportation planning, a Complete Streets policy addresses systematic inequalities to ensure that neighborhoods across the socioeconomic spectrum have safe places for people to walk, ride bicycles, use transit, and drive automobiles. Networks of Complete Streets make it easier for people who rely on transit to access jobs, and providing safe places to walk encourages walking and bicycling for transportation and recreation. Adopting a Complete Streets policy demonstrates a community’s intention to improve quality of life for all its citizens, regardless of their neighborhood.

    Photo: Dan Burden, Walkable and Livable Communities Institute
  • Complete Streets is that it makes fiscal sense. A Complete Streets approach helps every transportation project achieve more with less by providing multiple community benefits. Many of the ways to create more ‘complete’ roadways are low cost, fast to implement, and high impact.

    The Adams Avenue pedestrian improvement project in the City of San Diego is a perfect example of this. Adams Avenue is a large, busy street that runs through three neighborhoods, including University Heights. It serves approximately 8,300 vehicles per day, and, although the posted speed limit is 30 mph, most people drive 45 mph. In the University Heights neighborhood, this fast-moving avenue keeps residents from theirs only park, Trolley Barn Park. Before the Avenue was retrofitted, pedestrians often had to dangerously cross four lanes of fast moving traffic to access the park.

    In 2004 and 2005, the City added a mid-block street crossing with a wide, high-visibility crosswalk and a pedestrian refuge island. The bright, white painted stripes help change the image of the street and draw attention to pedestrians that may be crossing. This small project cost just $20,000, a small percentage of the total traffic-calming budget for the city which averages around $7 million per year. The mid-street pedestrian refuge island provides a safe place for pedestrians to stop before they finish crossing the street, reduces pedestrians’ exposure time to motor vehicles, helps slow vehicle speeds, and draws even more attention to pedestrians. According to Andy Hamilton, Co-Founder of WalkSanDiego (now Circulate San Diego) the project has “made a huge difference calming traffic for two blocks, giving a whole neighborhood better access to its only park.”
  • Though the concept of “Complete Streets” is itself simple and inspiring, the Coalition has found, through research and practice, that a policy must do more than simply affirm support for Complete Streets. Indeed, a policy is more than a simple affirmation -- if done correctly, it inspires reevaluation of current decision making processes, of plans and guides, of community expectations and outcomes.

    The ten elements can be divided into four distinct parts:
    ‘Pre-policy’ work of establishing a compelling vision;
    Creating a strong core commitment to providing for all users and modes in all projects;
    Rounding out that directive with supporting best practices; and
    Planning next steps for policy implementation.

    I’ll talk through each of these briefly. Although the concepts seem straightforward and answers seem somewhat clear, you’ll find that they actually result in a much larger discussion about the way your community makes decisions. Complete Streets policies are a gateway to much larger change.

  • More information about the elements of a quality policy, the process of developing a policy, ideas for performance measures, data and resources to make the case for Complete Streets policies, and our in-person workshops is available on our website. You’ll also find our two key policy reports: Dangerous by Design, which is an in-depth focus on pedestrian fatalities in the United States, and our Best Complete Streets Policies reports, which score new Complete Streets policies and highlights trends in the growing number of policies from across the country.
  • Communities adopt Complete Streets policies for many reasons – and those visions are essential to true change in a community.
  • The heart of a Complete Streets policy is a clearly stated directive to include the needs of all people, regardless of how they travel, into the everyday transportation decision- making process. Full integration of all users into everyday transportation planning and design is the desired outcome of a Complete Streets policy. An ideal Complete Streets policy considers the range of needs and recognizes the importance of planning and designing streets for all ages and abilities. It is also important to address equity issues, taking into account potential past systemic marginalization of certain communities because of race, ethnicity, or income. How will you address the needs of older adults, children, people with disabilities, minority populations, and lower income residents?
  • The ideal result of a Complete Streets policy is that all transportation improvements are viewed as opportunities to create safer, more accessible streets for all users. A strong Complete Streets policy will integrate Complete Streets planning into all projects beyond new construction and reconstruction, and direct application of a Complete Streets approach to rehabilitation, repair, major maintenance, and operations work. Even small projects can be an opportunity to make meaningful improvements. Complete Streets are achieved over time through single projects and through a series of incremental improvements. Policies should reflect this reality and encourage prioritization of projects to best make changes both big and small. How will you address Complete Streets needs in scoping, planning, design, construction, operations, and maintenance? What about consultants and private developers?
  • Making a policy work in the real world requires developing a process to handle exceptions to providing for all modes in each project. There must be a balance achieved when specifying exceptions in policy language so that the needed flexibility for legitimate exceptions does not also create loopholes. We recommend three:
    1. Accommodation is not necessary on corridors where specific users are prohibited, such as interstate freeways or pedestrian malls.
    2. When the cost of accommodation is excessively disproportionate to the need or probable use. We do not recommend attaching a percentage to define “excessive” as the context for many projects will require different portions of the overall project budget to be spent on the modes and users expected.
    3. When there is a documented absence of current and future need.

    The primary objective of Complete Streets is to provide safe accommodation for all users of the transportation network. Additional exceptions begin to weaken this goal. Engineers and project managers are talented and creative problem-solvers and should be able to address project-level barriers in ways that still achieve an environment supportive of all users.

    In addition to defining exceptions through good policy language, there must be a clear process for granting them. We recommend a senior-level department head, publicly accountable committee, or a board of elected officials be charged with approving exceptions, as appropriate for your community.
  • A good Complete Streets policy recognizes the need for more than one or two “complete” streets. We must build a connected, integrated system that provides transportation options to a resident’s many potential destinations. This means two things: planning for a network and ensuring gaps are filled.

    Rather than trying to make each street perfect for every traveler, communities can aim for a comprehensive network of streets that emphasize different modes while still providing quality access for each one. How will this impact private development activities and new subdivisions? Do you have specific goals for increasing connectivity in the network or documents to guide this activity? What opportunities exist to connect non-motorized networks? Where are the (literal) gaps?
  • Creating networks can be difficult because many agencies have a stake in the funding, planning, and development of our streets. State, county, and local agencies, together with private developers, build and maintain roads. Typical Complete Streets policies cover all the roadways within a community’s direct control but not those of outside parties. Partnerships with other agencies are important to creating a truly multimodal network within and between communities. Bringing everyone to the same understanding can be difficult, but including these stakeholders in your policy development process can help to develop stronger policy and provide opportunity for collaboration during implementation. Do neighboring jurisdictions have Complete Streets policies, and how can you coordinate with them? How will your Complete Streets efforts address private development? State-owned roadways?
  • Communities adopting a Complete Streets policy should use the best and latest design standards available to them, and it is not always necessary to create entirely new guidance. There are many resources available to add to your "shelf" -- newly released bikeway design guide from AASHTO, the NACTO Urban Streets Design Guide out later this year, the Model Design Manual for Living Streets, the Complete Streets Complete Networks guide, PROWAG. What do you currently reference? When were they last updated? How will we make the need for flexibility in design clear and understood?

    Photo: Missoula, MT, Higgins Avenue
  • An effective Complete Streets policy must be sensitive to the type of neighborhood and the land uses along roadways. How will you adjust your approach according to adjoining land use and community context? How will local stakeholders, including residents and merchants, be involved? How will the street design reflect and strengthen the unique qualities of the neighborhood?

    Photo: City of Des Moines, Des Moines, WA
  • As governments look to become more responsive, transparent, and accountable, performance measures are increasingly important. Implementing Complete Streets means systematically collecting and reporting data. Performance measures ensure compliance with the policy, but also enable more informed decision-making by providing clarity to planners, designers, and engineers on expected outcomes. How do you measure success -- on a project level and on a system level? What performance measures are important for your community? How can you measure both short-term and long-term success? What other departments or agencies can help with data collection and benchmarking?
  • The Coalition is working to establish a National framework for implementation – We've been listening to what communities and states are doing and have identified 5 key steps to implementation. Each step consists of a number of supporting activities, that vary state to state.
  • Source: Seattle Department of Transportation (2012) Bridging the Gap: Annual Report 2011; Action Agenda 2013 Progress Report; American Fact Finder
  • Source: Charlotte DOT, U.S. Census
    Image Source: Charmeck.org
  • Source: Federal Highway Administration (2012) Report to the U.S. Congress on the Outcomes of the Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program SAFETEA-LU Section 1807, Minneapolis Bicyclist and Pedestrian Count Report 2014.
  • Photo: Town of West Jefferson. Jefferson Ave. (NC 194)

    West Jefferson, a mountain town of 1,470 in northwestern North Carolina, showcases the transformative impact that Complete Streets principles can make on small towns. West Jefferson had built its main roads around tractor trailers and traffic from local textile factories. As the domestic textile industry disappeared and commercial transportation moved to other modes, West Jefferson found itself with much greater road capacity than was needed, and a historic downtown that was losing customers to big box stores on the edge of town. 

    Realizing the town was at a crossroads, town leaders engaged a landscape architect to design a streetscape plan for the main street. With a few inexpensive treatments, the town converted its main street—a state highway—from a place that people raced through to a destination that encourages residents and tourists alike to stroll, linger, and patronize local businesses.
     
    In cooperation with NCDOT the town used the opportunity of a resurfacing project to modify the traffic pattern on Jefferson Avenue, extending curbs and replacing two traffic signals with four-way stops.
     
    Along with a streetscape project, the traffic-calming reconfiguration dramatically changed the feeling of the downtown. Local leaders specifically credit the slower traffic and improved pedestrian environment with bringing businesses and residents back to Jefferson Ave., filling vacant storefronts and boosting retail sales.
     
    Since the streetscape and reconfiguration projects, downtown West Jefferson has seen some $500,000 in renovations and investment, 10 new businesses, more than 55 jobs created, and a 19% increase in tourist visits. Commercial vacancies in the district dropped from 33 to 5 since the removal of the signals.
  • Photo: Jefferson Ave. (NC 194), West Jefferson, NC. Credit: Town of West Jefferson.

    With a few inexpensive treatments, the town converted its main street—a state highway—from a place that people raced through to a destination that encourages residents and tourists alike to stroll, linger, and patronize local businesses.
     
    In cooperation with NCDOT the town used the opportunity of a resurfacing project to modify the traffic pattern on Jefferson Avenue, extending curbs and replacing two traffic signals with four-way stops.

    Since the streetscape and reconfiguration projects, downtown West Jefferson has seen some $500,000 in renovations and investment, 10 new businesses, more than 55 jobs created, and a 19% increase in tourist visits. Commercial vacancies in the district dropped from 33 to 5 since the removal of the signals.
  • US Route 62 in Hamburg, NY.

    Hamburg is a town of 57,000 near Buffalo, New York.
  • Photo: Dan Burden
  • Source: Rethinking Streets: An Evidence-Based Guide to 25 Complete Streets Transformations, Marc Schlossberg

    Over 4 miles of Ocean Boulevard, in the tourist destination of South Carolina’s Myrtle Beach, was reconfigured starting in 2008. The 2013 population of Myrtle Beach is estimated at over 29,000 people.

    Photo: Curtis Ailes
  • Sources: Rethinking Streets: An Evidence-Based Guide to 25 Complete Streets Transformations, Marc Schlossberg
    “Construction for ‘Complete Streets’ beings in Myrtle Beach”, WMBFnews.com, September 5, 2014

    After the Complete Street improvements, traffic collisions along Ocean Boulevard dropped from over 400 collisions in six months to less than 40 collisions. There were no changes to the 25 mph speed limit on the thoroughfare, and drivers tend to travel at speed closer to 15mph. The reduced traffic speeds and noise have created a more engaging ambience along the boulevard, both for people walking or bicycling, and for tourists staying in hotels along the corridor.

    In September 2014, construction for the final seven blocks of Complete Streets improvements along Ocean Boulevard began. The final improvements will be complete by 2017.

    Photo: Curtis Ailes
  • Our website is home to many resources, including policy tracking and examples, information on changing policy from advocacy to implementation, links to research and publications. From our website, you’ll also find our blog, newsletter, and twitter feed, which are great ways to stay up to date on Complete Streets and transportation issues in general.

    Photo: Dan Burden, Walkable and Livable Communities Institute
  • Complete Streets Policy Development 101

    1. 1. Complete Streets: Changing Policy March 2015 1
    2. 2. What are Complete Streets? 2 Complete Streets are streets for everyone, no matter who they are or how they travel.
    3. 3. What are Complete Streets? 3 Safe Comfortable Convenient
    4. 4. What are Complete Streets? 4 Safe Comfortable Convenient
    5. 5. Complete Streets policies Ensure that the entire right-of-way is planned, designed, constructed, operated, and maintained to provide safe access for all users 5
    6. 6. Complete Streets: Is a high-level policy direction Changes the everyday decision-making processes and systems Represents an incremental approach Has long-term results 6
    7. 7. Complete Streets is not: • One “special” street project • A design prescription • A mandate for immediate retrofit • A silver bullet; other issues must be addressed: • Land use (proximity, mixed-use) • Environmental concerns • Transportation Demand Management 7
    8. 8. Policy adoption accelerates 8 Smart Growth America (2014). Complete Streets Policy Analysis 2014 31 44 62 85 136 219 374 538 638 712 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
    9. 9. Policies adopted at all levels 9 By the end of 2014: States : 30* MPOs : 58 Counties : 58 Cities : 564 Total : 712 *Including Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia
    10. 10. All types of communities 10 6% 6% 9% 7% 14% 39% 19% Large City Midsize City Small City Large Suburb Midsize Suburb Small Suburb Town/Rural Smart Growth America (2014). Complete Streets Policy Analysis 2014
    11. 11. All types of policies 11 Smart Growth America (2014). Complete Streets Policy Analysis 2014 15.3% 45.8% 0.4% 1.1% 5.2% 7.4% 21.4% 3.4% Legislation Resolution Tax ordinance Executive order Internal policy Plan Policy adopted by elected board Design guidance
    12. 12. Why adopt a policy? To change practice, integrating the needs of all road users into everyday transportation planning and design practices. 12
    13. 13. Why adopt a policy? To gradually create a complete network of streets that serve all users. 13
    14. 14. Why adopt a policy? To save money: in the long run, retrofit projects always cost more than getting it right the first time. 14
    15. 15. Why adopt a policy? To provide innovative transportation planners with the political and community support for doing things differently. 15
    16. 16. Why adopt a policy? To apply solutions across a community and address systematic inequities. 16
    17. 17. Why adopt a policy? To create fast, low- cost, and high- impact changes in your community. 17
    18. 18. Goal: Successful Policies 1. Sets a vision. 2. Includes all users and all modes. 3. Applies to all phases of all applicable projects. 4. Specifies and limits exceptions, with management approval required. 5. Emphasizes connectivity. 6. Is understood by all agencies to cover all roads. 7. Uses the best and latest design standards and is flexible. 8. Complements the community’s context. 9. Sets performance standards. 10. Includes implementation steps. 18
    19. 19. Goal: Successful Policies
    20. 20. Vision What do you want from your streets? What will consistently rally support from the general public and elected officials? 20
    21. 21. All users & modes A clearly stated directive to include the needs of all people, regardless of how they travel, into the everyday transportation decision- making process. 21
    22. 22. All projects & phases Integrate Complete Streets into planning, planning, design, construction of all projects: • New construction • Reconstruction • Rehabilitation • Repair • Repaving • Major maintenance • Operations 22
    23. 23. Exceptions Provides flexibility, but must not be exploited. Three common exceptions: • Where user groups are prohibited • When the cost is excessively disproportionate to need and use • Documented absence of current AND future need Additional exceptions weaken Complete Streets objectives. 23
    24. 24. Network & connectivity More than one or two “complete” streets Connected, integrated system that provides for all users Ensures gaps are filled 24
    25. 25. Other agencies Many agencies have a stake in the funding, planning, and development of our streets. Create partnerships Communication between jurisdictions and agencies at all levels 25
    26. 26. Design guidance & flexibility Use the best and latest design standards available Allow for flexible approaches to design 26
    27. 27. Context sensitivity Design relates well to type of neighborhood and buildings 27
    28. 28. Performance measures Systematic collection and reporting of data Ensures compliance with policy goals Enables informed decision-making Short and long term 28
    29. 29. Tool: Policy Workshops • Bring together stakeholders and decision makers • Encourage open dialogue about challenges and solutions • Outside expert instructors lend credibility, offer national expertise • Develop appropriate policy for your community • Understand common implementation steps, develop work plan 29 www.completestreets.org/workshops
    30. 30. Tool: Policy Workbook Detailed discussion of & questions to ask at each step in developing a policy • Right type of policy • Understanding current process • All 10 elements of ideal policy • Planning for implementation 30 www.completestreets.org/policyworkbook
    31. 31. Tool: Policy Workbook • Use in tandem with Policy Analysis • Work with other stakeholders to answer questions, write language • Draw from best practices, develop best language for your community 31 www.completestreets.org/policyworkbook
    32. 32. Tool: Policy Analysis 32 • Compare your policy to policies in similar communities • Find highly-rated policies to serve as models • Rate policy as you write it • Use to inspire implementation activities
    33. 33. From Policy to Practice Effective implementation means: Organizing implementation activities Restructuring procedures, policies, and programs Rewriting or updating design guidance Offering training opportunities to transportation staff, community leaders, and the general public Creating new performance measures 33
    34. 34. Results: Seattle, WA 34 In 2011 and 2012: = 51 pedestrian countdown signals added = 21 school zones with improved signage = 22 blocks of sidewalks built = 30 miles of bike lanes/sharrows installed = 1,637 street trees planted = 88,000 additional hours of transit service secured 2013 population: 652,405 Area: 84 square miles
    35. 35. Results: Charlotte, NC In six years: = 12.4 miles of road conversions completed = 40 miles of signed bike routes added = 40 miles of greenways & off-street paths added = 75 miles of bike lanes added = 80+ sidewalk improvements made 35 2013 population: 792,862 Area: 298 square miles
    36. 36. Results: Minneapolis, MN 2013 population: 400,070 Area: 54 square miles 36 Through 2010 = 17.8 miles of bike routes with sharrows added = 36.3 miles of bike lanes added Between 2007 and 2014 • Estimated daily bicycle traffic increased by 73% • Estimated daily foot traffic increased by 25%
    37. 37. Results: West Jefferson, NC • Adapting to changing conditions • Embraced decrease in commercial traffic by reclaiming right-of-way for walking, sitting • Replaced signals with 4-way stops, shortened crossings • Streetscape, landscape • Total cost: $300k 37
    38. 38. Results: West Jefferson, NC •$500K in new private investment •10 new businesses •55 new jobs •Vacancies dropped from 33 to 5 •Tourism up 19% 38
    39. 39. Results: Hamburg NY • Narrowed lanes • Modern roundabouts instead of signals • Crosswalks, curb extensions extensions • “Safety lanes” are de facto bike lanes • Total cost: $20m 39
    40. 40. • $7m add’l investment in 33 buildings • Doubled property values • 3% vacancy rate (village rate of 10%) 40 Results: Hamburg NY
    41. 41. Myrtle Beach, SC • 5-lane road along main street  two auto lanes, two bicycle lanes, and a turn lane • Also: sidewalk and crosswalk improvements, landscaped medians 41
    42. 42. Myrtle Beach, SC • Collision frequency dropped by 400% • Collisions less severe • Average daily traffic decreased from 15,000 to 13,000 vehicles • Increase in people on bikes and using transit 42
    43. 43. 43 Washington, D.C.
    44. 44. 44 Washington, D.C.
    45. 45. For more information • Model policies & reports • Best Complete Streets Policies • Local Policy Workbook • Implementation resources • Latest news www.completestreets.org www.smartgrowthamerica.org 45
    46. 46. National Complete Streets Coalition Steering Committee 46 AARP AECOM Alliance for Biking & Walking America Walks American Planning Association APTA American Society of Landscape Architects Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals Institute of Transportation Engineers National Association of City Transportation Officials National Association of Realtors NelsonNygaard Smart Growth America SRAM Stantec SvR Design Company
    47. 47. Copyright & use This presentation is licensed under a Creative Commons license permitting non-commercial use with attribution. Any of these conditions may be waived with permission. For-profit organizations wishing to use this presentation should contact us at sseskin@completestreets.org or 773-270-3534. For more information about this license, please visit: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.5/ 47
    48. 48. Smart Growth America is the only national organization dedicated to researching, advocating for and leading coalitions to bring smart growth practices to more communities nationwide. www.smartgrowthamerica.org 1707 L St. NW Suite 250, Washington, DC 20036 | 202-207-3355

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