DDOT now has a Complete Streets policy

On Monday, DDOT Director Gabe Klein signed a Complete Streets policy. The policy, effective immediately, states in part that DDOT projects “shall accommodate the safety and convenience of all users.” When it comes to DDOT projects, bicyclists and pedestrians are now officially on equal footing with other modes. Please thank Director Klein, Mayor Fenty and Council Chairman Gray for this policy. While certain corridors will continue to give priority to some modes over others, and some facilities, such as interstate highways or non-motorized trails, exclude certain modes by law, the policy emphasizes that “connectivity throughout the network for users of all modes is essential” and requires that “all transportation and other public space projects shall…ensure that all users, especially the most vulnerable, can travel safely, conveniently and efficiently within the right of way.” While it won’t lead to a bike lane and a sidewalk on every street, this policy requires DDOT to do more than simply consider the movement of automobiles, and gives residents and advocates another tool if the agency’s projects don’t live up to its own standards. Most importantly, the policy requires that pedestrian, bicycle and transit Level of Service (LOS) measurements be used to ensure that projects provide sufficient accommodation for all users. It also requires that projects “consider environmental enhancements” such as stormwater runoff, tree space and planting areas, use of recycled materials and energy efficiency. Continue reading