Part of making any city a bustling, attractive place to live is to make sure that its streets have a space for all people who are using them, not just motorists stuck in lanes and lanes of gridlock. This is the concept behind the National Complete Streets Coalition and their policy advocacy that ensures “that transportation planners and engineers consistently design and operate the entire roadway with all users in mind – including bicyclists, public transportation vehicles and riders, and pedestrians of all ages and abilities [their emphasis].”
A new report (.pdf) from Transportation for America touts the success of local and statewide complete streets policies over the last few years (146 passed in 2011, and 350 now in effect across the country) and offers tips on passing and improving complete streets ordinances. For example, Baltimore formally committed (.pdf) to the complete streets approach in 2010, but with only fairly vague statements about what “can be accomplished” rather than what will. This report provides concrete steps on how to alter completed ordinances so as to better engage relevant communities and analyze what is and is not working on Baltimore streets.
The report also includes an appendix indicating how well different areas with Complete Streets laws are actually implementing projects that improve streets for transit users, cyclists, pedestrians and motorists. Baltimore is doing fairly well, with a perfect score for “intent” but a middling one for inclusiveness to “all users and modes,” at present. Along with this report, TFA has also created a workbook (.pdf) for areas early in the complete streets process.