Communities around the country are reaping the benefits of streets designed for all users.
Complete Streets are roadways designed and operated for all users, be they motorists, bicyclists, public transit riders, or pedestrians. To date, more than 300 U.S. jurisdictions have adopted Complete Streets policies. The power of this movement is that it demands local strategic planning, coordination across multiple departments and more funding for streets that are welcoming to everyone. Too many times in our cities, staffmembers in multiple departments are not coordinating project development in a cost effective, strategic way. Especially with transportation, staff responsibilities are divided among planning, traffic operations, maintenance, and bicycles and pedestrian planning. The Complete Streets movement asks city staff to be more strategic and as a result, make every dollar count towards producing great, healthy streets for all of us.
Completed in Summer 2012, this paper written for traffic engineers and planners across the region details the many benefits of Complete Streets, examines the legal context for policies, and most importantly, offers a Toolbox for greater implementation. WalkSanDiego collaborated with members of the San Diego American Planning Association and the Complete Streets Task Force to complete. Click here to read.
People Want to Walk More. A 2010 survey for San Diego commissioned by the San Diego Foundation found that 79% of the population supported making neighborhoods more walkable, especially to lower green house gases . Similarly, a 2010 SANDAG survey completed for the Regional Transportation Plan ranked improvements to the regional public transit system as the highest priority for future investments.
Policies are good ideas institutionalized within a city. A city with a good Complete Streets policy is more likely to implement streets that are safe for everyone. The National Complete Streets Coalition has followed policies for years and released their top ten elements that make a great policy:
Cities around the country are taking a new road on street design to make streets safer and more vibrant. In the process, they are creating more walkable, bikeable communities.
Updated Street Design Manuals
New York City, NY - Encourages the use of innovative street design techniques on a pilot basis.
Charlotte, NC - The City's Urban Street Design Guidelines introduce land use into standard street classifications thereby emphasizing the fact that streets cannot be planned in a vacuum based on daily automobile counts.
San Francisco - Titled Better Streets San Francisco's updated street design policies do just that: create better, safer, more vibrant streets for the city.
Abu Dhabi - Home of the world's tallest building, this city aims high with its street design manual, too, by making it a comprehensive document addressing multiple modes of transportation.
Exemplary Multi-Modal Policies
Sacramento, CA - This city's General Plan updated in 2010 outlines a host of multi-modal policies - including flexible Level of Service standards - that pave the way for safer streets for all users.
Seattle, WA - This city's adoption of a Complete Streets ordinance set into motion a new way of decision making for multi-modal streets. An easily replicable policy is institution of a Complete Streets Checklist to ensure effective decision making.
Adoption of Performance Measures
Redmond, WA - This city not only adopted a series of annual goals as far as miles of bicyle lanes, sidewalks and the associated reduction in bike/ ped injuries, it also generates an annual report card on success.
Seattle, WA - goals established through its Transportation Strategic Plan