As the demand for more complete, multimodal streets increases, so does the push to alter the functional classification system to allow for greater local flexibility in roadway design. The functional classification system often restricts communities seeking flexibility in roadway design and can effectively hobble transit planners attempting to advance livability initiatives.
Communities across the country are making roads safer and more accessible for everyone who uses them, and more communities are using these strategies now than ever before. This guide from Smart Grown America, released today, examines all the Complete Streets policies passed in the last year and highlights some of the best. The analysis also revealed that the Complete Streets movement grew in 2012, continuing a national trend since 2005.
Smart Growth America has released a report that summarizes surveys of the more than 350 complete streets policies that have been approved by communities across the United States. Also available is the latest edition of the Complete Streets Local Policy Workbook, which is intended to assist transportation experts and local leaders with developing complete streets policies.
Roadway designers since the 1960’s have used the concept of “forgiving highways.” Due to its success in reducing fatal crashes on high speed access controlled roadways, engineers have been applying this methodology to urban streets in built up areas as well. However, this approach might actually make certain roads deadlier for motorists, as it encourages drivers to drive faster and less cautiously, and it has been shown to lessen pedestrian and bicyclist safety.
This report explains the Complete Streets movement and assesses ways to make urban thoroughfares more pedestrian and bike friendly without compromising existing automobile travel. Download the full report here.
Missoula, Montana—a city of roughly 70,000 people— for decades had a policy similar to many cities of allowing property owners to decide if they wanted a sidewalk, and pay for it themselves. This created city streets that resembled “broken teeth,” where properties with sidewalks were next door to properties without sidewalks.
New York State’s legislature passed a complete streets bill to require that planners consider bike and pedestrian friendly features when designing and building roads. Over the last ten years, 3000 pedestrians have died on New …