Completing Our Streets: The Transition to Safe and Inclusive Transportation Networks

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Island Press, Oct 14, 2013 - Transportation - 224 pages
Across the country, communities are embracing a new and safer way to build streets for everyone—even as they struggle to change decades of rules, practice, and politics that prioritize cars. They have discovered that changing the design of a single street is not enough: they must upend the way transportation agencies operate. Completing Our Streets begins with the story of how the complete streets movement united bicycle riders, transportation practitioners and agencies, public health leaders, older Americans, and smart growth advocates to dramatically re-frame the discussion of transportation safety. Next, it explores why the transportation field has been so resistant to change—and how the movement has broken through to create a new multi-modal approach.

In Completing Our Streets, Barbara McCann, founder of the National Complete Streets Coalition, explains that the movement is not about street design. Instead, practitioners and activists have changed the way projects are built by focusing on three strategies: reframe the conversation; build a broad base of political support; and provide a clear path to a multi-modal process. McCann shares stories of practitioners in cities and towns from Charlotte, North Carolina to Colorado Springs, Colorado who have embraced these strategies to fundamentally change the way transportation projects are chosen, planned, and built.

The complete streets movement is based around a simple idea: streets should be safe for people of all ages and abilities, whether they are walking, driving, bicycling, or taking the bus. Completing Our Streets gives practitioners and activists the strategies, tools, and inspiration needed to translate this idea into real and lasting change in their communities.


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Chapter 1 Why We Build Incomplete Streets
Chapter 2 How the Complete Streets Movement Succeeds
Chapter 3 Closing the Gap between Policy and Practice
Changing How Decisions Are Made
Chapter 5 Looking for Every Opportunity
Chapter 6 Practitioners as Champions
How Much Do Complete Streets Cost?
Chapter 9 Expanding Complete Streets
Case Study Finder
Complete Streets Resources
Selected Bibliography
Board of Directors

Setting Priorities for Different Users

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About the author (2013)

Barbara McCann served as the founding Executive Director of the National Complete Streets Coalition, working with groups from AARP to the YMCA to develop and advance the adoption of policies to make streets safe for all users. More than 500 jurisdictions, including more than half the states, have now adopted Complete Streets policies. McCann co-created the Complete Streets Workshop program and speaks widely. In 2011 the NY/NJ Section of the Institute of Transportation Engineers recognized her with the 2011 Transportation Advancement Award, given annually to a non-engineer "for contributions in advancing transportation programs through outstanding leadership."

Barbara founded McCann Consulting in 2003 to work with government agencies, non-profits, and researchers, authoring numerous reports and articles on transportation, health, and land use. McCann is also a co-author of Sprawl Costs. Prior to establishing her own firm, McCann served as Director of Information and Research at Smart Growth America (SGA) where she authored the report Measuring the Health Effects of Sprawl, the first research report documenting the relationship between sprawl and obesity. She worked at CNN as a writer and producer for 13 years during her first career as a journalist.

She lives in Washington, DC with her husband Bob Bloomfield.

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