Complete Streets

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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
• Health insurers want people to stay more active.
• Energy savings.
Minnesota Laws 2008, Chapter 350, Article 1,
Section 94.

 “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.

  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;
  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
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

•    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:

•    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.)

• 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.)

• 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.)

• 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
• Specifies that ‘all users’ includes pedestrians, bicyclists and transit
    passengers of all ages and abilities, as well as trucks, buses and
• 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 and revise conflicting information in
  Minnesota’s design documents.
• Explore the feasibility of integrating Minnesota’s
  existing planning and design manuals into one
Preliminary Recommendations (cont.)

• Compile a complete list of funding sources available
  and the constraints related to these sources into one
• 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:


• Tim Quinn, Resource Engineer
  Mn/DOT Metro District

• John Powell, Public Works Director/City Engineer
  City of Savage
Questions and Comments…..

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