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BikeWalk NC applaud DOT's 'Complete Streets' initiative

BikeWalk NC is applauding a new state Department of Transportation that focuses on evaluating walking, driving and public transit options as it reviews projects. Members of the N.C. Board of Transportation on Thursday unanimously adopted a resolution in support of implementing amendments to the department’s Complete Streets policy.

 

NCDOT adopted the Complete Streets policy in 2009. The policy directs transportation engineers and planners to take into account and incorporate different types of transportation into road projects, where feasible. The various transportation modes include driving, walking, biking, rail, aviation and public transit.

This policy requires NCDOT planners and designers consider and incorporate multimodal facilities in the design and improvement of all appropriate transportation projects in North Carolina. Routine maintenance projects may be excluded from this requirement if an appropriate source of funding is not available. Consideration of multimodal elements will begin at the inception of the transportation planning process and the decisions made will be documented.

This policy sets forth the protocol for the development of transportation networks that encourage non-vehicular travel without compromising the safety, efficiency, or function of the facility. The purpose of this policy is to guide existing decision making and design processes to ensure that all users are included during the planning, design, construction, funding, operation and maintenance of North Carolina’s transportation network, and will not create barriers or hazards to the movements of those users.

The board’s vote on Thursday supports NCDOT’s ongoing efforts to update and implement improvements to the Complete Streets policy.

“The goal is a policy that does a better job considering different forms of transportation as projects are being developed – and not just considered at the end of project development,” Transportation Secretary Jim Trogdon told the board on Thursday.

Trogdon recognized members of a technical team who have been working over the past year to improve the department’s Complete Street policy.

“This team helped us move toward turning that goal into reality – to build projects people need, want and will use,” Trogdon said.

The board’s action will lead to an improved internal process for planning and constructing transportation projects and, ultimately, reduce fatal crashes and pedestrian deaths as part of the department’s Vision Zero initiative.