Thursday, January 13, 2011

Alexandria Complete Streets policy

The Alexandria Transportation Commission is discussing whether the City Council should adopt a Complete Streets ordinance. Staff have suggested that the City adopt a policy instead of an ordinance. As Jonathan Krall, an Alexandria bike advocate, stated in a BikeWashington post, "The distinction is that a policy can be ignored. Virginia has a 'policy,' not that you'd notice." (I'm a member of the BikeWashington group, so I'm not sure if the post is accessible by everyone.) Staff argue that complying with an ordinance would add to the time and cost of reviewing projects. It would also require updating of their 25-year-old street design manual. Sounds like that would be a good thing.

See summaries of the discussion by Krall, Alexandria Complete Streets followup and a blog entry by Froggie, Complete Streets: What's the Right Policy? You can also read the Alexandria documents under discussion: the Draft Complete Streets Resolution, a comparison of Complete Streets policies in other jurisdictions (Virginia's policy isn't one of them), and a Complete Streets policy checklist.

There's been discussion about whether Fairfax should have a Complete Streets policy. With such limited control of our roads it almost seems like a moot point. However, the county does manage some road projects and the policy or ordinance could apply to those projects. It could also form the basis of comments on all road projects, whether being managed by VDOT, private developers, or the county.

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FYI, BikeWashingtonDC posts are available to non-members. I was able to read a few before I joined up as a member.

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