Los Angeles Listed in Top 10 Complete Streets Policies Nationwide
Posted by Naomi Iwasaki, Mobility Policy Analyst on March 18th, 2015
Out of the 70 U.S. jurisdictions that adopted Complete Streets policies last year, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority,or “Metro”,) was ranked in the top ten by Smart Growth America, a national smart growth advocacy and policy organization. “Complete Streets” is an infrastructure design concept that prioritizes the safety and quality of life of all road users, particularly the most vulnerable such as pedestrians, bicyclists, elderly, children and the disabled. Complete Streets designs have been shown to improve safety, public health, economic development and environmental impacts. In 2014 Metro released the Los Angeles County Complete Streets Policy, which emphasized applying Complete Streets principles to Corridor Planning and Transportation Funding.
Complete Streets policies were scored based on ten elements of an “ideal” policy, including: 1) a vision why the community wants Complete Streets; 2) specification that “all modes” includes walking, bicycling, riding public transportation, driving trucks, buses and automobiles and “all users” includes people of all ages and abilities; 3) all types of transportation projects subjected to the policy; 4) any exceptions to the policy are specified and approved by a high-level official; 5) recognition of need to create a comprehensive, integrated and connected network for all modes and encourages street connectivity; 6) all other agencies governing transportation activities are expected to comply with the policy; 7) recommended use of the latest and best design criteria and guidelines; 8) current and planned context (buildings, land use, and transportation needs) is considered; 9) performance measures; and 10) specific next steps for implementing the policy.
Metro’s Complete Street policy scored very well on most elements, except for #9: performance measures. When the policy was approved by the Metro Board in October 2014, staff was directed to return with proposed performance measures in early 2015.