The Complete Streets policy adopted by the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) in 2010 is recognized as one of the nation’s leading examples of a safe, smart transportation policy according to a new nationwide analysis conducted by the National Complete Streets Coalition.
The annual report, which rates every Complete Streets policy across the country on a numerical basis according to best practices criteria, highlights Louisiana’s policy as being especially strong in the areas of accommodating all users and modes and implementation.
“All across the country we’re seeing more and more communities embrace a new understanding of their streets and roadways,” says National Complete Streets Coalition Director Roger Millar. “More than 350 communities, including 26 states, now have Complete Streets policies on their books, with 146 of those policies being adopted in 2011 alone. So, for Louisiana’s policy to be highlighted as a leading example, not only shows the proliferation of best practices in recent years, but also a strong commitment from the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development to protecting the safety of all its transportation users.”
“There’s a growing understanding across the country that streets are something more than just a way to get from Point A to Point B in a car,” Millar adds. “It’s a recognition that DOTD is dedicated to making its streets safer and more open to everyone, regardless of age, ability, income, ethnicity or mode of travel.”
The Coalition’s report also indicates that the rate of Complete Streets policy adoption across the country is increasing exponentially.
“As residents of communities across the country increasingly desire the ability to walk, bike or take transit to and from jobs, shops and schools, we’re seeing more and more localities understand the importance of providing for all transportation network users,” Millar adds. “This is not something that is limited to big or coastal cities — in fact, what we’re seeing is that over one-third of all policies have been adopted in suburban communities with fewer than 30,000 residents, and nearly one in five policies are in small, rural towns.”
“It’s encouraging to see towns and cities of each and every size invest in more holistic approaches to building and maintaining streets, just like in Louisiana. The safety, health, economic, environmental and quality of life benefits are obvious when you provide for everyone in your community.”
Taken together with the latest edition of the Coalition’s Complete Streets Local Policy Workbook, the Complete Streets Policy Analysis serves as an effective starting point for transportation experts and interested local leaders to begin mapping out their own Complete Streets policies.
“Now more than ever, the Complete Streets policies we’re seeing are inclusive, diverse and accountable,” Millar says. “That’s a good thing no matter which form of transportation you prefer.”
To download a full copy of the 2011 Complete Streets Policy Analysis, with comparative ratings of different local policies nationwide, visit http://www.completestreets.org/webdocs/resources/cs-policyanalysis.pdf.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) is committed to delivering transportation and public works systems that enhance the quality of life. In addition to more than 16,600 miles of roadway, including over 890 miles of interstate, DOTD supports the development of the state’s aviation, marine and rail infrastructures. Through this work, we are able to facilitate economic development, create job opportunities, improve vital evacuation routes, and make critical freight corridors safer and more efficient.
For more information, please visit www.dotd.la.gov, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call DOTD’s Customer Service Center at (225) 379-1232 or 1-877-4LADOTD (1-877-452-3683). Business hours are 7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Motorists can access up-to-date travel information by dialing 511 or by visiting www.511la.org. Out-of-state travelers can call 1-888-ROAD-511 (1-888-762-3511).
Complete Streets are designed and operated to enable safe access for all users. Instead of fighting for better streets block by block, the National Complete Streets Coalition seeks to fundamentally transform the look, feel, and function of the roads and streets in our community, by changing the way most roads are planned, designed, and constructed. Complete Streets policies direct transportation planners and engineers to consistently design with all users in mind, in line with the elements of Complete Streets policies.
Smart Growth America is the only national organization dedicated to researching, advocating for and leading coalitions to bring smart growth practices to more communities nationwide. From providing more sidewalks to ensuring more homes are built near public transportation or that productive farms remain a part of our communities, smart growth helps make sure people across the nation can live in great neighborhoods. For additional information visit www.smartgrowthamerica.org.