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Complete Streets Study Tribes & Transportation Conference October 1, 2009 Black Bear Casino Resort Carlton, MN What is a Complete Street? From the National Complete Streets Coalition: “COMPLETE STREETS are designed and operated to enable safe access for all users. Pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and bus riders of all ages and abilities are able to safely move along and across a complete street.” Why is this now a “movement”? • The public is looking for more transportation options including walking, biking, and buses. • ADA awareness is heightened. • People want more opportunities to stay physically active. • Health insurers want people to stay more active. • Energy savings. Minnesota Laws 2008, Chapter 350, Article 1, Section 94. Sec. 94. COMPLETE STREETS. “The commissioner of transportation, in cooperation with the Metropolitan Council and representatives of counties, statutory and home rule charter cities, and towns, shall study the benefits, feasibility, and cost of adopting a complete streets policy applicable to plans to construct, reconstruct, and relocate streets and roads that includes the following elements: Minnesota Laws 2008, Chapter 350, Article 1, Section 94. (continued) 1. safe access for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and transit riders 2. bicycle and pedestrian ways in urbanized areas except where bicyclists and pedestrians are prohibited by law, where costs would be excessively disproportionate, and where there is no need for bicycle and pedestrian ways 3. paved shoulders on rural roads; 4. safe pedestrian travel, including for people with disabilities, on sidewalks and street crossings 5. utilization of the latest and best design standards; and 6. consistency of complete streets plan with community context. Minnesota Laws 2008, Chapter 350, Article 1, Section 94. The Commissioner shall report findings, conclusions, and recommendations to the Senate Transportation Budget and Policy Division and the house of representatives Transportation Finance Division and Transportation and Transit Policy Subcommittee by December 5, 2009" Legislative Activity at the Federal level: Complete Streets Act of 2009 H.R.1443 and S. 584 A bill to ensure that all users of the transportation system, including pedestrians, bicyclists, transit users, children, older individuals, and individuals with disabilities, are able to travel safely and conveniently on and across federally funded streets and highways. Complete Street Policy According to Barbara McCann, who is writing a Best Scoping Practices Manual incorporating Complete Streets into Transportation Design: What it is: • Includes all modes • Applies to new construction and reconstruction • Will allow special and limited exceptions • Uses Context Sensitive Design in conjunction with Complete Streets • Uses latest design standards with flexibility • Sets performance standards Complete Street Policy What it is not – • Design prescription • Mandate for immediate retrofit • Silver bullet – other initiatives need to be addressed such as land use, environmental concerns, VMT reduction • Based on study process, it is not necessarily “all modes on all roads” Mn/DOT’s Study Approach • Project Management Team • Advisory Committee • Technical Advisory Panel • Other resources and presentations • Consultant-SRF Consulting Group • Outreach-CEAM, MPWA, MCEA, Mn/DOT, etc. Project Management Team • John Powell, Co-Chair – City of Savage • Tim Quinn, Co-Chair – Mn/DOT • Merry Daher, Project Manager – Mn/DOT State Aid • Rick Kjonaas, Project Manager – Mn/DOT State Aid • Michael Marti – SRF Consulting Group • Renae Kuehl – SRF Consulting Group Advisory Committee • James Andrew – Metropolitan Council • Lee Amundson – Willmar Area Transportation Partnership • James Gittemeier – Duluth Metropolitan Planning Organization • Steve Elkins – Bloomington City Council • Mary McComber – Oak Park Heights City Council • Shelly Pederson – Bloomington City Engineer • Dennis Berg – Anoka County Commissioner • Gary Danielson – Mn County Engineers Association • Dan Greensweig – Mn Association of Townships • Mike Schadauer – Mn/DOT Transit • Karen Nikolai – Hennepin County Community Design Liaison • Mike Wojcik – Rochester City Council Technical Advisory Panel • Scott Bradley – Mn/DOT Context Sensitive Design • Jim Rosenow – Mn/DOT Geometrics Design Engineer • Paul Stine – Mn/DOT State Aid Standards Engineer • Tim Mitchell – Mn/DOT Office of Transit • Sue Groth – Mn/DOT Traffic Engineer • Lynnette Geschwind - Mn/DOT Affirmative Action • Brian Gage – Trans. Planning and Access Management • Tim Anderson – Federal Highway Administration • Mukhtar Thakur – Mn/DOT State Design Engineer • Mathew Pahs – Mn/DOT Office of Freight and Commercial Vehicles Operations • Amr Jabr – Mn/DOT Metro Operations & Maintenance Director • Mike Robinson – Mn/DOT Duluth District Engineer • Marc Briese – Woodbury Traffic Engineer • Barb Thoman – Transit for Livable Communities • Michael Huber – Urban Land Institute • Irene Weis – Mn/TAC • Ron Biss – Transportation Accessibility Advisory Committee Study Goal The goal of the Study is not to answer all the questions, or to develop policy; it shall study the benefits, feasibility, and cost of adopting a complete streets policy. Resource document Identify “red flags” Synthesis of other research Schedule • September 2008 Co-chairs & Project Manager named by Mn/DOT • October 2008 Advisory Committee assembled per language in bill • November 2008 Technical Advisory Panel (TAP) identified • December 2008 Retained SRF to assist in bringing together input from Committee, TAP, literature search and public input from a Mn/DOT Complete Streets Website and write a report to the Commissioner • December 24, 2008 Mn/DOT Complete Streets website live: http://www.dot.state.mn.us/planning/completestreets • January 26, 2009 AC Kick off meeting with the Committee and TAP Public Outreach • January-May 2009 Committee and TAP meetings, research • May-August 2009 Report Development Schedule (cont.) • September 21, 2009 Final AC and TAP Meeting (joint meeting) • October 15, 2009 Revised Final Report to be submitted to the Commissioner • December 15, 2009 Commissioner of Mn/DOT to report findings to the Senate Transportation Budget and Policy Division and the House of Representatives Transportation Finance Division and Transportation and Transit Policy subcommittee What Will the Report Contain? • Executive Summary • Description and Goals • Legislative Request, CS Definition and Purpose, Report Goal, Study Approach • Balancing Safety, Mobility, Efficiency and Cost • Balanced Approach, Relationship to Context Sensitive Solutions • “State of the State” in Minnesota • Design Standards, Funding, Operations, ADA • Lessons Learned from Interviews • Background, Summary of Findings • Benefit, Cost, Feasibility, and Funding • Implementation Strategies • Conclusions and Recommendations • Appendix Preliminary Conclusions The meetings, discussions, presentations, interviews, research, and synthesis included as part of this study lead to the identification of several conclusions: Study Content • The purpose of this study was not to develop a policy, but to identify the benefits, costs and feasibility of implementing a Complete Streets Policy in Minnesota and provide recommendations relating to the implementation of a Complete Streets policy. • Complete Streets does not mean “all modes on all roads”; rather, the goal of Complete Streets should be to 1) develop a balanced transportation system that accommodates all modes via integrated modal planning inclusive of each mode of transportation (transit, freight, automobiles, bicyclists and pedestrians), and 2) inclusion of all transportation users of all types, ages and abilities. Preliminary Conclusions (cont.) Implementation • Over 100 agencies have implemented Complete Streets policies in the United States, including 16 states. • Complete Streets must start at the planning stage. Better and mutually supportive integration of transportation and land use planning across all jurisdictions is recognized as extremely important toward enabling and supporting complete streets. • Implementation of a Complete Streets program typically focuses on new construction/reconstruction rather than retrofit or resurfacing. Opportunities for modal provision in some facilities in the immediate future may be limited to re-striping, either as part of the pavement preservation or as a stand-alone modification. • APA/NCSC is in the process of completing report on the best practices of Complete Streets which will be available in January 2010. Preliminary Conclusions (cont.) Design • There is an ‘outcome’ lag. Many of the Complete Streets concerns arose from past design practices which have been improved over the years. As funding becomes available and roadways are updated, Context Sensitive Solutions and Complete Streets principals are now being applied. • There is not a simple “one design fits all” design. Each project needs to be designed based on user needs and contextual factors. The policy should not be prescriptive and should allow flexibility in the design. • Minnesota’s existing transportation planning, and design guidelines require revisions to eliminate inconsistencies and to be more accommodating to all modes of travel. Additionally, there needs to be separate policies for urban and rural Complete Streets. • The main areas of potential conflict between current design practices and Complete Streets are: lane width, speed, annual daily traffic , and level of service and roadway classifications. Preliminary Conclusions (cont.) Design (Cont.) • The Complete Streets design process doesn’t focus on functional class. Consistent with CSS, the design process must consider all modes and community context, including development/land use plans. • Developing a design exception review process is a recommended component of the Complete Streets process. Preliminary Conclusions (cont.) Operations and Maintenance • Involve maintenance and operations staff in the design process to minimize long term maintenance costs. • Snow removal priorities on sidewalks and ramps should be defined to improve accessibility. Preliminary Conclusions (cont.) Costs, Benefits and Feasibility • Quantifiable benefit/cost analyses have not been performed for Complete Streets implementation. The general consensus is that the benefits of Complete Streets offset the incremental costs. • Although there are potentially some incremental additional costs associated with Complete Streets, they are often offset by the benefits Therefore, Complete Streets are considered feasible on state, regional and local level. Preliminary Conclusions (cont.) Funding • As stated in the recently released Mn/DOT State Transportation Plan (August, 2009), there is a projected shortfall of $50 billion dollars (transportation need versus projected budget) over the next 20 years. Reduced funding has caused agencies to delay transportation projects and initiatives which, in turn, have caused a delay in implementing CSS. • There is not one central resource that agencies can use to get information about all funding sources available. • Finding funding can be difficult if the project needs do not align with funding requirements. In addition, if an agency would like to use multiple funding sources on one project, the timeframe the funding is available from each source may not align. Preliminary Conclusions (cont.) Policy Elements According to the National Complete Streets Coalition, an ideal policy has the following elements: • Includes a vision for how and why the community wants to complete its streets. • Specifies that ‘all users’ includes pedestrians, bicyclists and transit passengers of all ages and abilities, as well as trucks, buses and automobiles. • Encourages street connectivity and aims to create a comprehensive, integrated, connected network for all modes. • Is adoptable by all agencies to cover all roads. • Applies to both new and retrofit projects, including design, planning, maintenance, and operations, for the entire right of way. • Makes any design exceptions specific and sets a clear procedure that requires high-level approval of exceptions. Preliminary Conclusions (cont.) Policy Elements (cont.) • Directs the use of the latest and best design standards while recognizing the need for flexibility in balancing user needs. • Directs that Complete Streets solutions will complement the context of the community. • Establishes performance standards with measurable outcomes. • Includes specific next steps for implementation of the policy. Preliminary Conclusions (cont.) Policy Elements (cont.) Additional elements identified by the study committees include: • Encourage adaptive lighting as a need of Complete Streets for usability by street users. • Encourage managing maintenance impacts (primarily snow, landscaping and lighting). • Striving for improving pedestrian and vehicular safety and reducing accidents. Toward Zero Deaths Preliminary Recommendations • Development and implementation of a Complete Streets process should follow a phased sequential approach: Establish need, develop policy, reconcile differences in planning and design policies, guidelines and manuals, implement, and review/measure/refine. • Review and revise conflicting information in Minnesota’s design documents. • Explore the feasibility of integrating Minnesota’s existing planning and design manuals into one manual. Preliminary Recommendations (cont.) • Compile a complete list of funding sources available and the constraints related to these sources into one resource. • All agencies should develop an integrated transportation plan that addresses connectivity for all modes for all users of all ages. • Assist local agencies in developing their own Complete Streets Policies with the support of Mn/DOT’s expertise in CSS, ADA, bicycle/pedestrian planning, design and funding strategies. • Review the State Aid variance process, make more accessible and transparent. For further information: • http://www.dot.state.mn.us/planning/completestreets/index.html • Tim Quinn, Resource Engineer Mn/DOT Metro District • John Powell, Public Works Director/City Engineer City of Savage email@example.com Questions and Comments…..
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