Implementing Complete Streets
The Complete Streets initiative relates to the MAP Initiative 4, “Creating Desirable and Attractive Places.” It relates specifically to Action 2, “Develop and Implement a Sidewalk and Recreational Paths Plan” and Principle 10, “Streets will create an attractive public realm and be welcoming and comfortable places for people while safely accommodating vehicles.” The goal is to create attractive, comfortable, and convenient streetscapes for anyone traveling along them including drivers, bicyclist, pedestrians, and public transportation.
Why this is important
The Complete Streets Policy was incorporated into the Delaware-Muncie Metropolitan Plan Commission Transportation Plan and the five-year capital improvement program generated by Muncie’s Public Works Department to include various modes of travel. A balance of transportation options create livable, attractive communities making it easier and more convenient to bike to work, ride public transportation to shops, and cross the street safely. Streets are vital to communities with the purpose of moving people, and by providing efficient connections, a community will thrive.
The initiative was voted high priority at a RNCNA meeting by residents. A discussion by residents began concerning the amount of potholes and the need of sidewalks on multiple streets as it makes walking and biking challenging.
What will this involve
Incorporating bike lanes, street trees for shade and beauty, benches and vegetation for safe buffers between pedestrian and vehicle lanes, and locating buildings close to the street for a since of enclosure are all techniques to achieve complete streets.
Funding can occur from Community Development Block Grants given under the Community Focus Fund ran by the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs. This grant is allocated to local governments to fund community and economic activities. About $200,000 is awarded annually with up to $500,000 funded on any individual project as long as 10% of the total project cost is matched locally. Funding from Transportation, Community, and System Preservation under the Federal Highway Administration can occur as well. The grant is allocated to states, metropolitan planning organizations, and local governments for planning and implementation regarding complete streets, streetscaping, and traffic calming measures. $61,000,000 is available every year.
Contact information for Funding/Assistance sources
Department of Community Development
300 N. High St. City Hall
Muncie, IN 47305-1639
Phone: (765) 747-4825
Fax: (765) 747-4898
Contact: Terry Whitt Bailey
Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs
One North Capitol, Suite 600
Indianapolis, IN 46204-2027
Phone: (317) 233-3762
Toll Free: (800) 824-2476
Fax: (317) 233-3597
Department of Public Works
5790 West Kilgore Ave.
Muncie, IN 47305
Phone: (765) 747- 4847
The snow plow priority map displays streets of importance that need maintenance done. High priority streets are the busiest, main arteries of the neighborhood that are crucial to traffic flow. This correlates to complete streets as the most important streets should be reconstructed first to be comfortable, safe, and convenient.
Summary of relevant case studies
The community became interested in increasing non-motorized modes of transportation through inspiration of linking the built environment with health. Their community transportation plan included complete streets for active living. A complete street policy was established after the project committee held two public meetings and four workshops with adults, low-income residents, and local institutions. An importance of walking and biking, and accommodation of all users including the disabled and old were recognized when the city organized four technical studies: latent demand score, level of service, street typology, and policy and regulation audits. Since the city did not fund any transportation construction other than regular maintenance, the committee received Georgia Department Transportation grant funding.
The city of Decatur, Georgia is similar in size of Muncie where they impacted there local neighborhoods by adding over 60 miles of sidewalks in 4.2 square miles. The Riverside Normal City neighborhood can be prime location for walking under MAP Initiative 4, Action 2, “Develop and Implement a Sidewalk and Recreational Paths Plan.”
Figure 1: Complete street in Decatur, Georgia showing on street parking, tree buffers and comfortable pedestrian walkway. Source