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Complete Streets Policy Manual

Overview

A 2010 regional poll conducted in the New Orleans and Baton Rouge metro areas revealed that more than 75 percent of residents view the ability to walk to work or other destinations to be important. The roads in many cities are not designed to accommodate the needs of all residents. The traditional U.S. street design model has failed to meet the needs of significant segments within our communities including older adults, children, and disabled persons.

This manual, produced by the Center for Planning Excellence’s CONNECT Coalition and the Merritt C. Becker, Jr. University of New Orleans Transportation Institute and supported by AARP, is intended to enhance communities’ awareness of Complete Streets policies and provide a framework for ratifying such policies on a local level. It examines different stakeholders and issues involved in creating a Complete Streets program, alerts planners and advocates of potential obstacles that may be encountered when planning for Complete Streets, and outlines a comprehensive process for Complete Streets policy adoption and implementation. Additionally, this manual explores what Louisiana is doing to improve the health and overall satisfaction of its residents by implementing an effective statewide Complete Streets policy.

Key Points

Though Complete Streets are only one element of a vibrant interconnected community, they are important for creating a community that is livable for residents of all ages and abilities. Louisiana realized the impact Complete Streets could have on the connectivity and overall health of its communities and is taking measures to ensure a Complete Streets policy is adopted and implemented. Some of the strides Louisiana has made toward establishing Complete Streets include forming a diverse coalition of supporters, identifying a political champion to spearhead the Complete Streets policy initiative, and establishing education and outreach programs to educate stakeholders and the general public on the concept of complete streets.

Other report highlights include:

  1. Louisiana’s Complete Streets policy was recognized as the second best state policy in the country by the National Complete Streets Coalition because of its strength and comprehensiveness.
  2. New Orleans was the first local jurisdiction to begin the process of developing and adopting a Complete Streets policy in Louisiana, signing the New Orleans’ Complete Streets Ordinance into law in December 2011.
  3. To gain support from residents, volunteers in New Orleans conducted surveys and audits evaluating the current walking and biking conditions around the city. This got residents thinking about ways to improve these conditions for pedestrians and bicyclists in their community.

How to Use

Planners, local officials, community leaders, and advocates can use this manual to gain a better understanding of the benefits of Complete Streets, the need for an effective statewide Complete Streets policy, and how Louisiana in particular is making progress toward becoming more livable through the creation of Complete Streets. The manual addresses obstacles that may be encountered when planning for Complete Streets such as public opposition and funding issues. It also provides suggestions for how communities can overcome these barriers. This section, starting on page 27 of the report, may be helpful for community leaders and advocates looking to gain support for Complete Streets from residents in their communities.

View full report: Complete Streets Policy Manual (PDF – 11.6 MB)

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