Sunday, April 18, 2010

New national professional manuals promote complete streets and enhanced accommodations for biking & walking

Not only has the USDOT issued a policy guidance on improved bike/ped accommodations (click here for that story), but two long-awaited professional manuals have been released recently that provides local and state transportation engineers and planners with the tools to put these new policies in place.

1. The DRAFT AASHTO Guide for the Planning, Design, and Operation of Bicycle Facilities (Feb, 2010) is a major improvement over the existing manual, which is the "bible" for state and local engineers and planner.It has adopted a lot of the League of American Bicyclists vehicular cycling and best practice principles, and it's chapter on bicycle master plans is excellent. Click here to check it out.

2. Walkable Urban Thoroughfares Manual Debuted by Institute of Transportation Engineers

The Institute of Transportation Engineers debuted its new Recommended Practice: Designing Walkable Urban Thoroughfares: A Context Sensitive Approach. This document represents years of work from the Congress for the New Urbanism and hundreds of transportation professionals and advances the successful integration of land use consideration and multi-modal roadway design. The new manual, produced in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, and in partnership with the Congress for the New Urbanism, will be of great help as communities and states implement their complete streets policies. Click here to check out this manual.

3. California Releases Complete Streets Implementation Action Plan

In additional to national manuals, the California Department of Transportation has released its Complete Streets Implementation Action Plan, a set of actions to transform Caltrans's approach and create a statewide system of roads for California travelers of all ages and abilities. The ambitious and thorough Action Plan describes the management oversight and monitoring process to ensure implementation and lists a variety of Division and District tasks to pursue in the coming years. The priority actions include updating the Highway Design Manual, as well as system planning guidance, project development procedures, and reviewing data collection and performance measures. This action plan is a model for other states regarding how to implement complete streets statewide.

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