Friday, October 14, 2011

Model Design Manual will help communities turn complete streets policy into practice

As Lee County and the City of Fort Myers work on implementing their complete streets policies, a fabulous new & FREE tool was made available this week. This new manual, developed by an impressive team of national experts, shows how to apply national best practices in multi-modal transportation and sustainability to local context and streets. No need to re-invent the wheel--just adapt this template to our local community! Below is the story about the manual by the National Complete Streets Coalition.

National Complete Streets Coalition Blog
By Stefanie Seskin, on October 13th

Last week, our movement grew even stronger with the unveiling of the Model Design Manual for Living Streets, available for free download.

The new manual provides a template for local jurisdictions to begin updating their existing design guidance, one of our four steps to effective implementation of Complete Streets policies.

As a template, it allows jurisdictions without the resources to undertake major revisions to their guidance an opportunity to apply national best practices in multimodal transportation and environmental sustainability to local context and streets. Communities can amend the manual with more in-depth guidance, adding additional components, adopt it wholesale, or pick and choose the chapters that best fit their needs. Chapters include:

Street networks and classifications
Traveled way design
Intersection design
Universal pedestrian access
Pedestrian crossings
Bikeway design
Traffic calming
Transit accommodations
Traffic calming
Streetscape ecosystem
Re-placing Streets
Designing land use along living streets
Retrofitting suburbia
Community engagement for street design

Recommendations to maximize benefit and minimize costs of building and maintaining street networks are numerous.

Ryan Synder Associates, a Coalition Platinum Partner, led the development of the manual and was assisted a team of over 40 experts in Complete Streets, including the Coalition’s Executive Director Barbara McCann, numerous workshop instructors, and representatives from multiple Coalition partners and members. Their work was made possible by funding from the Department of Health and Human Services through the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

The manual will specifically help Californian communities meet the goals set by the state Complete Streets law and recent requirements to reduce stormwater runoff. However, its framework will allow any community to create better, more complete streets that result in healthier, safer, and more livable neighborhoods.

It should be a tool in any city’s toolbox.

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