The State of Washington to Lead on Complete Streets
American residents have limited public space where they can socialize, walk, and bike safely. Streets make up 80% of public space in the US, which is rarely designed with pedestrians or bicyclists in mind. The Washington State Department of Transportation just took a huge step forward by officially endorsing the Urban Street Design Guidelines. The NACTO guidelines provide tools to develop complete, livable streets.
Washington’s DOT, as the first state DOT to endorse these guidelines, will now gain the wisdom of the nation’s top engineers, planners, and designers. Cities are leading the movement towards complete streets, as the public increasingly demands safe, multimodal, sustainable, economically beneficial communities. This guideline, created by the National Association of City Transportation Officials, is based on methods that have been successful in New York City, Houston, Chicago and San Francisco.
“We not only endorse this guide, we’re also working toward adopting it into our policies and processes,” said state Transportation Secretary Lynn Peterson. “This guidance supports our strategic planning and practical design emphasis. It also builds on local partnerships and encourages early collaboration to ensure we are considering a community’s unique transportation needs.”
One of the goals of our Better Bikeways campaign in 2014 is to compel CalTrans to follow Washington’s lead. Encouraging local governments to follow the NACTO guide when developing our communities will create safer, healthier, and more prosperous communities for all.