Complete streets policies, broadly, mandate that all streets need to accommodate people using all modes of travel, including walking, bicycling, transit, and driving.
Metro staff in giving their presentation [PDF], expressed that the bulk of regional complete streets implementation occurs outside Metro’s jurisdiction. For the most part, street configurations are the jurisdiction of individual cities.
Metro staff identified two key areas where they assert that Metro has its greatest influence over complete streets implementation:
- Corridor Planning: Metro is a lead agency in building various projects, most prominently rail, but also highways and other facilities.
- Transportation Funding: Metro passes funding along to cities (and others) to build projects – including via the Call for Projects.
Seven public speakers, including L.A. County Bicycle Coalition’s Eric Bruins and Safe Routes To School National Partnership’s Jessica Meaney, expressed support for complete streets goals, and criticism of the draft policy. Comments focused on lack of enforceability, equity, performance metrics, as well as overall vagueness. For more details on criticisms expressed, read the Los Angeles County Active Transportation Collaborative comment letter at SRTS.
Sustainability committee members including Duarte City Councilmember John Fasana and L.A. City Councilmember Mike Bonin’s Transportation Deputy Paul Backstrom portrayed the new policy as “a step in the right direction,” while suggesting that some improvements will need to be made to it over time. The committee approved the policy, and requested that staff return later with proposed metrics.
In recent years, Metro has incorporated commendable complete streets facilities as part of some of its projects; examples include multi-use bike/walk paths along portions of the Metro Orange and Expo Lines. Though these bike and walk facilities are well-used, Metro does not include them in all projects, and tends to invest much greater funding in providing free parking for cars than it does in ensuring safe and convenient walking and bicycling access to its stations.
Metro recently adopted its First Last Mile Strategic Plan. Many Metro projects, though, continue to be rail- and car-focused, with first/last mile bike and pedestrian facilities being poorly-funded afterthoughts unevenly tacked on much later.
What’s in Metro’s proposed Complete Streets policy? Read more…