Kudos to FDOT for delivering on a major milestone of its Complete Streets Implementation Plan--issuance of a draft FDOT Design Manual to replace its current Plans Preparation Manual. In addition, the Department has prepared a Draft Complete Streets Handbook to accompany the new FDOT Design Manual. Highlighting the national significance of this FDOT project, last week the team leader of the project, DeWayne Carver, State Complete Streets Program Manager for FDOT, received a national award for this effort. (See Congress of New Urbanism (CNU) Transect Codes Council Honor FDOT's DeWayne Carver with Groves Award.)
Since FDOT announced its Complete Streets Policy in 2014, FDOT has worked to transform the way FDOT designs roads and conducts business . The goal of FDOT's Policy and Complete Streets Implementation Plan (2015) is to "provide safer, context-sensitive roads by putting the right street in the right place." [1000 Friends of Florida 2/12/16 Webinar Description.] The highly acclaimed Implementation Plan outlines plans for updating the key manuals and guidance that FDOT engineers use to design roads. The accompanying Complete Streets Handbook was not part of the plan, but has been developed as an interim document with guidance to FDOT and local partners. The Plan called for full implementation by the end of 2017.
Last week FDOT issued the draft Complete Streets Handbook and the draft FDOT Design Manual. The FDOT Design Manual is the "meat and potatoes" of the Implementation Plan. Both the Handbook and the FDOT Design Manual focus on the state road system. The Handbook describes the approach and process that FDOT will use to plan state roadways in consultation with local agencies where those state roads exist. The significant change is the introduction of a Context Classification System focused on the context of the street as part of the total picture, rather than “just” the roadway.
In "planners lingo", the Context Classification System generally aligns with the New Urbanist (TM) Transect System. This planning tool will evaluate land use characteristics, development patterns, and roadway connectivity to determine the context classification for each state roadway project at the front-end of the planning and project development process.
While these two important documents were developed for state engineers and planners dealing with the state roadway system, the new Context Classification System can be considered by local jurisdictions on county and local roads, and is especially appropriate for jurisdictions that have adopted complete streets policies (which includes 5 policies in Lee County).
The FDOT Context Classification System takes the complete streets holistic approach of the context of the whole area (land use as well as transportation).
The guidance in both the Handbook and the Design Guide will be reflected in the update of the Florida Greenbook (which is a milestone in the Implementation Plan), scheduled to be undertaken in 2018. The Florida Greenbook directly applies to local governments. Local jurisdictions should take a close look at the Draft FDOT Design Manual and Complete Streets Handbook to better understand some of the changes coming our way.
FDOT encourages comments and questions by May 26th: submit to www.FLCOMPLETESTREETS.com.
Look for an upcoming blog from BikeWalkLee that focuses in more detail on how the guidance in both of these documents can be used to implement complete streets at the local level.
Report by Darla Letourneau
Below are links to each of the documents available:
All the documents and many other related Complete Streets Resources are available on FDOT's website.
Below are links to documents and previous BikeWalkLee blogs about FDOT's Complete Streets Policy:
FDOT Complete Streets website and Complete Streets Implementation Plan
FDOT Complete Streets Policy, Sept. 2014
BWL Blog: Feb. 16, 2016: Follow-up on 2/12 webinar: Complete Streets Implementation in Florida
BWL Blog: Dec. 21, 2015: BikeWalkLee Highlights Benefits of FDOT's Complete Streets Implementation Plan for Lee MPO Board
BWL Blog: December 9, 2015: Bike/Ped Safety Advocates Applaud FDOT'sComplete Streets Plan
BWL Blog: December 7, 2015: FDOT releases its Complete Streets Implementation Plan
BWL Blog: September 8, 2014: Invite to Billy Hattaway's MPO presentations: update on FDOT bike/ped/complete streets initiatives
BWL Blog: September 20, 2014: FDOT Embraces Complete Streets: major statewide policy changes announced by Hattaway at Lee MPO Meeting