Complete Streets: Tools to Move from Idea to Practice
November 13, 2012
Streets are very often a community's largest public asset, yet they have rarely been described as such. In an era of higher gas prices, increasing rates of chronic disease, and an increased call for fiscally responsible investments, people are demanding another look at our streets. They want safe streets that provide a choice of travel modes and access to destinations near and far. They want complete streets.
An ideal complete streets policy is an inter-disciplinary vision and an actionable tool to create robust, safe transportation networks within and between our communities. But what are the real barriers to complete design? What do people really mean when they ask for complete streets? And why do so many projects result in incomplete streets?
In this program, Stefanie Seskin from the Complete Streets Coalition and Paul Lippens, AICP, from the Active Transportation Alliance described the 10 elements of a complete streets policy, and how that written direction can prompt transportation decisions that are responsive to community needs. They also looked at common themes encountered in Complete Streets implementation and offered 10 roadway design fixes for complete results.
Stefanie Seskin is the deputy director of the National Complete Streets Coalition, where she provides technical assistance to advocates, practitioners, and elected officials. She is the primary author of "Complete Streets: Local Policy Workbook" and the annual Complete Streets Policy Analysis. She contributed chapters and case studies to APA's PAS Report Complete Streets and the policy analysis in the AARP Public Policy Institute's Planning Complete Streets for the Aging of America. Seskin holds a seat on the Toronto Centre for Active Transportation's Advisory Committee for Complete Streets for Canada. She was recently named 2012 Young Professional of the Year by the Association of Bicycle and Pedestrian Professionals.
M. Paul Lippens, AICP
M. Paul Lippens, AICP, is the senior planner with Active Transportation Alliance. He specializes in complete transportation and multimodal facility design. He is the primary author of "Complete Streets, Complete Networks: a Manual for the Design of Active Transportation," and winner of the 2012 award for best practices from APA's Illinois Chapter. He has recently worked with CDOT and the Cook County Highway Department on Complete Streets policy implementation. In practice, his project work is characterized by three paths to planning success: elegant graphics, user based processes, and free information access. Prior to joining the Active Transportation Alliance, Lippens led systems planning and design projects throughout Michigan and Indiana.