Safe Routes Scoop

Takin' it to the Streets:
Creating Complete Streets

coalition provided policy guidance to the USDOT in its preparation of a design guide for the accommodation of pedestrian and bicycle travel. The coalition is now working with Congress to introduce legislation that would ensure that federal transportation dollars would be used to promote complete streets. 

 

Complete Streets and New Jersey
NJDOT policy regarding alternative roadway users is to “achieve full institutionalization of bicycle and pedestrian concerns throughout the Department.”  Encompassed in this 1999 administrative directive is the mission to “establish methods for addressing bike and pedestrian concerns,” to establish and maintain a multi-modal transportation infrastructure that accommodates bicycle and pedestrian travel, to create 2,000 miles of bicycle accommodations by the year 2010, and “improve access and safety for pedestrians.”

 

Sheree Davis, the NJDOT’s bicycle and pedestrian program coordinator, said the current administration has made bicycle and pedestrian safety a top priority. "Over the years, our strong policy and funding programs to municipalities have helped to build an ever-growing network for alternative users,” she said.

 

Davis explained that the department’s current policy is very close to a complete streets policy,

and authorizes her office to review all projects to ensure that all modes can realistically be accommodated. “New Jersey is a very dense state and the roadway network is nearly built out,” she said. “In some areas, it is very hard to retrofit roadways for bicyclists and pedestrians because of pre-existing development.”

 

To improve the department’s ability to prioritize need, several new tools are being developed.  According to Davis, the new models “are going to pull together master plan data, crash data, and sidewalk inventories to create a management system to help us prioritize projects. Where we need sidewalks, we will be able to prioritize the projects.”  Davis said that the needs of alternative users increasingly are being considered in projects such as bridge repairs, where the NJDOT has the opportunity to retrofit for biking and walking accommodations.

 

For more information on this topic, please see the following:

 

Complete the Streets Coalition
http://www.completethestreets.org

 

Aging Americans:  Stranded Without Options (April 2004)
http://www.apta.com/research/info/

online/aging_stranded.cfm

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