The National Complete Streets Coalition (NCSC) – a program of Smart Growth America – recently recognized ten communities with the best implementation of Complete Streets policies in 2018. The top rated community was Cleveland Heights, OH, followed by Des Moines, IA; Milwaukee; Baltimore; Madison, CT; Neptune Beach, FL; Fairfield, CT; Huntsville, AL; Amherst, MA; and Walpole, MA.
A Complete Streets approach integrates people and place in the planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of transportation networks. This helps to ensure streets are safe for people of all ages and abilities, balance the needs of different modes, and support local land uses, economies, cultures, and natural environments.
“The number of people struck and killed while walking has increased by 35% in the last decade nationally, at the same time that overall traffic fatalities have been going down. The good news is that we already know the solution: designing and building streets that are safe for everyone who needs to use them,” Emiko Atherton, director of the National Complete Streets Coalition, said in a statement.
According to NCSC, an ideal Complete Streets policy includes the following:
- Vision and intent – how and why the community wants to complete its streets;
- Diverse users – benefiting all users equally;
- Commitment in all projects and phases;
- Clear, accountable expectations;
- Jurisdiction – requiring inter-agency coordination between government departments and partner agencies;
- Design – the use of the latest and best design criteria and guidelines and time frames for their implementation.
- Land use coupled with transportation needs;
- Performance measures;
- Project selection criteria, and
- Implementation steps.
Cleveland Heights’ City Manager, Tanisha Briley issued a statement commending the efforts of the city’s Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC), City Planning Director Richard Wong and Councilwoman Mary Dunbar – who chairs the Housing and Transportation Committee and serves as Vice President of the Heights Bicycle Coalition.
“To have one of the best Complete Streets policies in the nation is a testament to the collaborative work of highly capable and dedicated staff, residents and elected officials,” Briley said.