“Here at Strong Towns, we’re advocates for a simple concept we like to call “”slow the cars”” because we’ve seen in city after city that slowing down cars makes our communities more prosperous and resilient — not to mention safer.
But, while this concept is simple, the reasoning behind it and the path to get to safer streets is, by no means, easy. Today, we’re sharing our ultimate guide to building slower, more walkable streets, filled with helpful articles and resources you can use to #slowthecars in your town. We’ve broken it down into 4 key sections that will explain why we need walkable streets, how to tell if your streets aren’t walkable, and resources for building walkable streets, plus inspiring stories that will demonstrate how to build safer streets.”
“Our national transportation conversation has us obsessing over finding more money to continue to do the same thing. This is only making us poorer.
Instead, we need to focus on finding ways to make better use of our existing investments. This means we need to spend our energy converting our most expensive, least productive and most dangerous transportation investment — our stroads — into either wealth-producing streets (to create a place) or highly productive roads (to connect productive places). The website shows you how to do just that.”
This user-friendly guide addresses the common challenges local advocates face when working to improve streets. Are you looking to create better streets in your neighborhood or community? Have you gotten discouraged by bureaucratic red tape or simple lack of communication? Or, are you passionate about great streets but struggling to get neighbors or city officials to share your enthusiasm or vision for people-centered public spaces?
For too long, transportation planning has focused on cars rather than people while neglecting communities of color and low-income neighborhoods. This framework offers planners and community advocates a step-by-step guide to a more community-centered transportation planning process that focuses on the mobility needs of communities and puts affected communities at the center of decision-making.
Smart Growth America and the National Complete Streets Coalition have revamped the ideal elements of a Complete Streets Policy. The elements serve as a national model of best practices that can be implemented in nearly all types of Complete Streets policies at all levels of governance. For communities considering a Complete Streets policy, this resource serves as a model; for communities with an existing Complete Streets policy, this resource provides guidance on areas for improvements.
This brief overview (2 pages), developed by the OPCE, provides an overview of complete streets – what they are, common elements, benefits, and policy. CHSC grantees can download and distribute to partners with engagement on complete streets efforts. Download the Complete Streets One Pager
Arts, Culture and Transportation: A Creative Placemaking Field Scan is a rigorous national examination of creative placemaking in the transportation planning process. Released in partnership with ArtPlace America, this new resource identifies ways that transportation professionals can integrate artists to deliver transportation projects more smoothly, improve safety, and build community support.
As Complete Streets Policies are becoming increasingly popular researchers seek to understand how these provisions lead to equitable implementation and higher physical activity levels. These two latest reports from the Institute for Health Research and Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago examine both the association between complete streets policies and public transit use and equity prioritization in policies.
ChangeLab Solutions created a new catalog of resources for laws and policies to ensure everyday health for all, including access to affordable and healthy food and beverages and creating safe opportunities for physical activity.
A new interactive website provides a review of relevant research to help advocates make their case for walking and biking, and lets users explore data at the state and city level and compare by location.
In 2015, in partnership with the Connecticut Chapter of the American Planning Association (CCAPA), EHHD was awarded a Plan4Health grant by the American Planning Association (APA) and the American Public Health Association (APHA). The focus of this grant is to support EHHD/CCAPA efforts to increase physical activity and access to healthy foods in the region’s towns by helping them link their planning and public health programs with a focus on healthier communities. This toolkit is designed to support the EHHD region towns, as well as any other small, rural towns, in these efforts. The EHHD and its CHART Coalition are actively working to help their communities create places where residents will have more opportunities to be physically active, eat healthy foods, and have fun!
This document is intended to be a resource for transportation practitioners in small towns and rural communities. It applies existing national design guidelines in a rural setting and highlights small town and rural case studies. It addresses challenges specific to rural areas, recognizes how many rural roadways are operating today, and focuses on opportunities to make incremental improvements despite the geographic, fiscal, and other challenges that many rural communities face.
Building Healthier Communities: Integrating Public Health into Planning is a free online learning course for planning and health professionals. Designed to complement the American Planning Association’s Planners4Health curriculum, the course outlines what planners and public health professionals need to know and how they can connect their work.
The U.S. Department of Transportation recently released a resource for transportation practitioners in small towns and rural communities titled “Small Town and Rural Multimodal Networks.” It applies existing national design guidelines to rural settings and highlights small town and rural case studies. Challenges specific to rural communities are addressed and focus on opportunities to make incremental improvements despite these geographic, fiscal, and other challenges.
Researchers at the University of Illinois, Chicago, published a report about how Complete Streets support equity. This report, “Prioritizing Transportation Equity through Complete Streets,” examines results from eight communities that chose to prioritize equity in their Complete Streets policies. The report presents lessons and strategies that the eight communities learned; prioritizing equity was found difficult to put into practice.
The U.S. Department of Transportation released a new toolkit that provides resources and guidance to better understand transportation planning, including accessibility and safe spaces for walking and biking. The toolkit, geared towards members of the public who wish to learn how to engage in the transportation decision-making process at the local, regional, state, and federal levels, defines key transportation acronyms and jargon using both text and graphics. The toolkit also highlights engagement opportunities. The Toolkit can be found here and the Quick Guide here.
In the Road Signs Pedcast (a “walking podcast”), you’ll hear from people on the ground who are building safe and active streets. Each episode discusses one transportation tool that promotes community health. In this first episode, learn about an approach to making existing streets safer—a road diet—with a story from Oakland, California.
One of the most powerful ways to increase the amount of bicycle travel is the adoption of bicycle friendly laws and policies. This comprehensive guide provides a roadmap to making all types of communities bicycle friendly.
One of the goals of the NYS Prevention Agenda is to promote attention to the health implications of policies and actions that occur outside of the health sector, including transportation and public safety. Complete streets policies create safer and smarter multi-modal transportation networks for all pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit users of all ages and abilities. Complete streets policies are ultimately geared towards promoting healthy lifestyles. Learn how two New York communities have used public awareness campaigns to encourage their residents to use walking and biking facilities or trail networks that have been established as a result of complete streets projects.
Complete streets policies create safer and smarter multi-modal transportation networks for all pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit users of all ages and abilities. New and existing funding sources can be accessed to help communities make their complete streets projects become a reality. Learn how to take concrete steps that build momentum and a track record, while simultaneously helping the community become more competitive for state and federal funding opportunities. In New York, there are good examples of rural, suburban and urban municipalities that have successfully identified and acted on low-cost solutions to advance their complete streets policies and projects. For larger infrastructure projects, communities have a variety of local, state and federal funding options. Communities should be careful to consider the costs and benefits of these funding options, including the costs of grant-writing, the importance of community buy-in and the difficulties of administering a federal-aid project.
The value of a complete streets initiative can be demonstrated through program evaluation. Creating a systematic and meaningful evaluation approach requires a step by step process. The purpose of this webinar is to provide participants with the skills to plan and execute an evaluation of a Complete Streets Public Health Intervention which addresses Prevention Agenda Performance Measures.
Complete streets policies can create safer and smarter multi-modal environments for all pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit users of all ages and abilities. The right kind of data can be an essential element to planning, implementing, and evaluating projects. This one-hour webinar will provide information on how to access and use national, state, county, and street-level data on motor vehicle traffic, bicycle, and pedestrian use, injuries, hospitalizations, and fatalities.
The National Complete Streets Coalition examines and scores Complete Streets policies each year, comparing adopted policy language to the ideal. Ideal policies refine a community’s vision for transportation, provide for many types of users, complement community needs, and establish a flexible project delivery approach necessary for an effective Complete Streets process and outcome. Different types of policy statements are included in this examination, including legislation, resolutions, executive orders, departmental policies, and policies adopted by an elected board.
This guide provides four overarching points to make in answering cost questions. The effectiveness of each depends upon the listener—some will resonate more with one audience than another. We give general guidance to the most appropriate audiences for each point, as well as general tips when discussing these topics in your community. We encourage you to use these examples as a starting point. Each point made below is illustrated in a companion PowerPoint slide. A thumbnail image of the slide and its corresponding slide number appear next to the text examples. You should not use the whole PowerPoint presentation to make your case locally. Instead, select the slides that are appropriate to your audience and situation and augment those slides with local facts and stories.
This workbook provides explanations of the various forms a Complete Streets (CS) policy may take and the elements of an ideal CS policy. This workbook is intended to be used during the development of a city or county CS policy.
This guide is intended to help planners, engineers, and decision-makers understand the Complete Streets roadway design process, and how it can be applied in smaller communities. It is intended as a companion to Complete Streets, Complete Networks, A Manual for the Design of Active Transportation.