Monthly Archives: April 2016

House subcommittee examines the successes of and potential improvements to EPA Brownfields program

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s Brownfields program helps communities clean up and redevelop contaminated land and put it back into productive use. EPA Brownfield grants and assistance have helped turn former industrial sites into new parks, office buildings, performing arts centers, and more in communities across the country.

Although the program gets funding from Congress each year, it is not an official part of the federal budget. On April 21, 2016, the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy held a hearing about the program, including what about it currently works well, what could be improved, and how the program helps communities handle issues like environmental liability concerns, financial barriers, cleanup considerations, and reuse planning.


Tell USDOT that #WeAllCount

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If someone takes the bus to work, and no one is around to count them, do they still matter?

We say yes, but the U.S. Department of Transportation seems to disagree.

Last week, USDOT issued a draft rule that will govern how states and metro areas will have to measure and address congestion, along with freight movement and emissions. These new requirements will help measure what America’s transportation dollars are actually buying us—which is great. 

However, the rule as it is currently written would measure success in outdated ways. Using old measures will lead to the continued use of outdated strategies, such as prioritizing fast driving speeds above all other modes of transportation and their associated benefits.


Complete Streets News — April 2016


ICYMI: The Best Complete Streets Policies of 2015 — Each year, the National Complete Streets Coalition tracks and analyzes newly passed Complete Streets policies. In case you missed it, this year’s rankings came out last week. The City of Reading, PA’s policy took home the top spot, with the first-ever perfect 100 score. As part of the kickoff, we hosted an online panel discussion, featuring Senator Brian Schatz; Mayor Mark Stodola of Little Rock; Craig Peiffer of Reading; and Hildy Kingma of Park Forest, IL. The recorded webinar is now online. We also took a few minutes to answer your questions from the webinar.

Save the Date: Complete Streets Conference — Join the National Complete Streets Coalition as we host our first-ever Complete Streets Conference on November 15, 2016 in Sacramento, CA. This national discussion will convene leaders and practitioners to share best practices, tools, and expertise, as well as celebrate the successes of the Complete Streets movement. Attendees will strategize on the future direction of Complete Streets, as the Coalition gears up to celebrate the 1000th national Complete Streets policy. Registration opens in May, stay tuned for an alert.


Announcing the full speaker lineup for the 2016 LOCUS National Leadership Summit

The 2016 LOCUS National Leadership Summit, taking place June 13-15, 2016 in Boston, will bring together responsible real estate developers and investors from across the country to meet, connect with, and learn from one another. Some of the nation’s leading experts in walkable urban real estate development will be leading the conversations, and now, LOCUS is excited to introduce the full lineup of speakers who will be featured at this year’s Summit.


Your questions answered about “The Best Complete Streets Policies of 2015”

On Tuesday we released our annual analysis of Complete Streets policies from across the country in 2015. As part of the kickoff, we hosted an online webinar all about the new report. The speakers talked about the state of the Complete Streets movement, provided an overview of last year’s policies, detailed Complete Streets components of the FAST Act, and discussed how the top-policy communities of Reading, Little Rock, and Park Forest are taking their Complete Streets work to the next level.

At the end of the event we took questions and answers from listeners. Unfortunately, we were only able to answer a fraction of the questions that were asked. We’ve taken a few minutes here to answer the rest.

Where can I download the new report? Are scores available for all policies adopted in 2015? And are scores available for previous years’ policies?
You can see the full list of all 2015 scores and as well as scores of previous policies in the full report.

Will the webinar slides be available after the presentation?
Yes! You can download the slides, watch a recorded version of the webinar, and see reactions to the event from social media in our recap blog post.


Upcoming webinar: Complete Streets Implementation and Design

Hundreds of communities across the country have adopted Complete Streets policies—the next step is to implement them. An upcoming webinar will help transportation planners and practitioners do just that.

Join the National Complete Streets Coalition for a free online discussion all about Complete Streets implementation and design on Thursday, April 28, 2016 from 12:00-1:00 PM EDT. The event is designed to help transportation planners, engineers, and practitioners turn policies on paper into changes on the ground. Join Emiko Atherton, Director of the National Complete Streets Coalition, and Mike Rutkowski, Coalition Steering Committee member, to learn how Complete Streets projects can help people and communities and what practitioners need to consider when designing and implementing those projects.


Recorded webinar: “The Best Complete Streets Policies of 2015”

In 2015, more than 80 communities passed Complete Streets policies and this week the National Complete Streets Coalition released a closer look at all of them with The Best Complete Streets Policies of 2015, our annual ranking of Complete Streets policies from the last year, including the 16 policies that were the nation’s best.

To kick off the report we hosted an online panel discussion to recognize all last year’s policies as well as the growing movement for safer streets nationwide. Representatives from top-scoring communities shared insight into how they passed the best policies, and ideas for how other communities can create a great policy of their own.

For those who weren’t able to join us on Tuesday, a recording of the webinar is now available.


Transit-oriented development assistance will help Honolulu, HI make more housing more affordable

East_Kapolei_NeighborhoodPlans for the East Kapolei Neighborhood. Photo via the City of Honolulu.

When the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced last week that Honolulu, HI would be among nine cities to receive new technical assistance for transit-oriented development, Honolulu Planning Director George Atta knew exactly how the assistance could help the city.

“We are hoping that transit oriented development will help us with our severe affordable housing problem,” Atta said.


Smart Growth America welcomes Lynn Peterson as new senior transportation policy advisor

lynn-peterson2Smart Growth America is pleased to announce today the hiring of Lynn Peterson, former chief executive officer of the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), as senior transportation policy advisor.

During her tenure at WSDOT, Peterson oversaw an agency responsible for 18,600 lane miles of highway, 3,700 bridges, airports, passenger- and freight-rail programs, and the Washington State Ferry system (the nation’s largest). She brought a renewed focus on agency efficiencies, accountability, and investments to the multimodal system, and supported the agency’s partnerships with cities, counties, businesses, transit agencies, and non-motorized transportation groups to cost-effectively build safe and healthy communities everywhere in Washington state.

Peterson is also a nationally recognized transportation and land-use integration expert having worked both as a transportation consultant and as a strategic planning manager for TriMet, Portland, OR’s regional transportation agency.


Announcing the best Complete Streets policies of 2015

A call to action on the United States’ obesity epidemic, a challenge on safety from a federal cabinet secretary, new standards for transportation in Congress, and the first-ever perfect-scoring policy all made 2015 a banner year for the national movement for Complete Streets.

Local policies were a huge part of this momentum. In 2015, communities passed a total of 82 Complete Streets policies, and they are some of the strongest ever passed. In fact, in 2015 the city of Reading, PA adopted the first policy to ever score a perfect 100 in our analysis. 

The Best Complete Streets Policies of 2015, out today, highlights Complete Streets policies from across the country last year, including the 16 policies that were the nation’s best. Those communities were: