We look at the complete transportation picture
A Complete Street is one that accommodates all users and modes of transportation. Transportation has changed through the ages from streets crowded with pedestrians, horses and wagons to streets designed predominantly for cars and trucks. The pendulum is swinging once again but hopefully landing somewhere close to the middle where all forms of transportation can coexist. People will be able to better utilize these connecting corridors to get where they want to go, but those facilities will also support economic development, healthy living, recreation, safety and livability.
- Complete Street projects come in all sizes from updating an ADA ramp to reconstructing a roadway to include a protected cycle track. Communities will need to prioritize which projects to take on first with limited budgets. How will we accomplish this? By taking advantage of opportunities.
- Incorporating Complete Streets in all types of projects.
- Recognizing that all projects paid for with federal funds automatically must comply with state Complete Streets objectives.
- Having local DPW departments identify ways to maintain and update their pedestrian infrastructure in small, medium and large ways.
- Taking advantage of MassDOT’s new Complete Streets funding program to make additional changes.
- Making local planning processes include more stringent bicycle and pedestrian requirements for new developments.
MVPC Technical Assistance
Upon request, MVPC provides helps communities with policy development, data collection, project prioritization and studies. Contact Tony Komornick at akomornick @mvpc.org.
MassDOT Complete Street Program
To help communities move toward incorporating Complete Streets, MassDOT is providing technical assistance and funding to help communities wanting to develop a Complete Streets policy, create a prioritization plan and implement infrastructure improvements.
National Complete Streets Coalition
The National Complete Streets Coalition has policy guides that communities may use to help develop their own policies. In addition, the organization publishes the top policies each year. MassDOT based much of its criteria for its Complete Streets on the National Complete Streets Coalition’s work.
Progress in the Merrimack Valley
Haverhill Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Program
MVPC, City of Haverhill, Haverhill Police Department (HPD) and MassDOT are working together to reduce bicycle and pedestrian crashes. HPD is enforcing and educating cyclists, pedestrians and drivers. Walkability and bikability assessments were conducted with WalkBoston and MassBike. MassDOT is constructing ADA ramps, updating pedestrian signals at Winter/White Sts intersection and installing a flashing beacon walking signal on Winter St.
Complete Street Ordinances
In 2015, the City of Lawrence became the first community in the Merrimack Valley to adopt a Complete Street ordinance. Salisbury followed close behind. MVPC assisted the City of Haverhill in drafting a policy.
Methuen Walkability Assessment 2016
The MVPC finished a walkability assessment of downtown Methuen, in the area of their proposed 40R district that the city is looking to redevelop. With citizen input, MVPC provided short- and long-term recommendations for making the downtown more inviting for pedestrians.
Newburyport Rotary Redesign
The City of Newburyport asked MVPC to provide different scenarios for redesigning the Route 1 rotary, with extra focus on incorporating safe bicycle and pedestrian connections. As part of this, MVPC received a grant to conduct a rapid Health Impact Assessment (HIA), the first in our region. The HIA provided additional information to help community leaders decide on a design.