Local bicycle and pedestrian advocates have two new resources that will help them get Complete Streets for their communities.
The Alliance for Biking & Walking this week released a new edition of its Guide to Complete Streets Campaigns, a 117-page book that updates the 2006 edition with Complete Streets policy examples and other tools for local advocates. To learn more about the book, click here.
The book was made possible with support from Planet Bike and assistance from the National Complete Streets Coalition. Since 2006, more than 100 state and local jurisdictions have adopted new Complete Streets policies that require transportation projects include safe accommodations for all users, including bicyclists and pedestrians.
According to a press release from the Alliance for Biking & Walking, Alliance President/CEO Jeff Miller says this new manual could be a catalyst for groups to kick-start or super-charge a successful campaign in their area.
“This updated guide is a key resource for grassroots advocates pursuing Complete Streets policies for their states and cities,” Miller says. “This compilation shares the step-by-step actions and lessons learned from peers across the country, making it the most up-to-date and on-the-ground advice for winning Complete Streets.”
The press release also includes the following book description:
Book Description: Our nation’s transportation system poses significant challenges for the third of our citizens who do not drive. A full 13 percent of traffic deaths are bicyclists and pedestrians, yet most roadways are still being built with only motor vehicles in mind. Complete Streets policies require that future transportation projects ensure safe accommodation of all users. Bicyclists, motorists, transit vehicles and users, and pedestrians of all ages and abilities safely and enjoyably travel along and across complete streets. The Alliance for Biking & Walking’s Guide to Complete Streets Campaigns compiles a blueprint for winning a complete streets policy in your city, region, state, or province. Filled with models from past and current campaigns and tips from advocacy leaders in the field, this guide is an indispensable resource for the new or seasoned advocate working towards complete streets.
The Alliance for Biking & Walking’s Guide to Complete Streets Campaigns is part of a series of Alliance guides, which aim to build the capacity of bicycle and pedestrian advocacy organizations. To purchase the guide online visit http://www.PeoplePoweredMovement.org/publications.
Also released this month is a new book from the National Complete Streets Coalition and the American Planning Association, Complete Streets: Best Policy and Implementation Practices. The book was partially funded by the Federal Highway Administration’s STEP program.
Barbara McCann, one of the book’s writers, wrote this description of the project on the National Complete Streets Coalition’s website. “The report is based on thirty case studies of states, cities, counties, and MPOs that have adopted and are implementing Complete Streets policies. Suzanne Rynne, Stefanie Seskin, David Morley, myself, and a number of other APA and Coalition staffers talked to dozens of planners, engineers, and other insiders about what it took to adopt a policy in their state or community and the techniques they are using to fully integrate multi-modal planning into every transportation project.”
The case studies showed the researchers what strategies were working and also added new information about how communities go about getting Complete Streets policies implemented. They also learned how advocating for Complete Streets policies helps communities communicate their transportation priorities to local and state governments.
A few of the case studies really stand out; their thoughtful and thorough implementation practices can almost be a guide unto themselves. Charlotte, North Carolina (already the basis for our Complete Streets Workshop system) is one of these, as is Seattle, Washington. In fact, Seattle has come up with an elegant answer to the frequent question of what to do when a project budget simply won’t allow full realization of a Complete Streets design. In Seattle, they make sure that this need is added to a future projects list, and they look for ways to fulfill it.
Perhaps the most inspiring theme in the publication is the way that Complete Streets policies have empowered planners and engineers to tackle a new challenge with creativity and innovation. In almost every case study, planners and engineers have invented new ways to consult with partners, deal with limited right-of-way, and save on costs.
You can get an idea of the breadth of the report from the table of contents; the first two chapters focus on policy adoption, and the next two on the steps to integrating Complete Streets into transportation planning processes. Chapters Six and Seven expand on the issue of paying for Complete Streets, and the many different ways communities have tackled design considerations. The final chapter summarizes twelve lessons learned; readers will undoubtedly draw many more. You can get a sneak peak by reading Chapter Five: Making the Transition, which we have posted to our website (as a PDF file). The full report is available for purchase from the American Planning Association, and please let us know what you think of it.
At this point, no Alaska communities nor the State of Alaska have adopted Complete Streets policies, but several Alaska groups are encouraging their implementation. The Alaska Public Health Association passed a resolution advocating for Complete Streets at the Alaska Health Summit in December. The Anchorage Bicycle Plan unanimously passed by the Anchorage Assembly in March includes several proposals based on the Complete Streets model, but doesn’t fully implement Complete Streets. The Alaska Transportation Priorities Project also promoted Complete Streets principles when it released its Alaska Campaign for Active Transportation: Anchorage, Palmer and Wasilla in 2008.
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