(Washington, DC) The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) has issued a new Complete Streets Policy that will guide the development, execution and evaluation of future DDOT projects. The policy, signed by Director Gabe Klein this week, says “All transportation and other public space projects shall accommodate and balance the choice, safety, and convenience of all users of the transportation system…” and directs DDOT employees to give equal weight to pedestrians, bicyclists and transit users as well as motorists.
“This policy really formalizes the changes we’re already started to make at DDOT to ensure all modes of transportation are equally represented.” said Director Klein. “This approach is critical to ensure our streets are safe for everyone and to create more livable and sustainable communities.”
The Complete Streets Policy was one of the goals set out in DDOT’s 2-year Action Agenda [PDF], which was released in February. The full text of the policy is below and will also be posted on DDOT’s website at ddot.dc.gov.
Complete Streets Policy
The District’s transportation network as a whole shall accommodate the safety and convenience of all users, recognizing that certain individual corridors have modal priorities. While these priorities should remain and be encouraged along specific corridors, connectivity throughout the network for users of all modes is essential. Examples of modal priorities include, but are not limited to, residential streets, green streets, school routes, and corridors that are important to transit, freight, commuter traffic, and retail;
All transportation projects shall reflect the land-use, transportation, and green space needs of the city-wide transportation network, be sensitive to its various contexts, and should improve, not diminish, network connectivity;
All transportation and other public space projects shall accommodate and balance the choice, safety, and convenience of all users of the transportation system including pedestrians, users with disabilities, bicyclists, transit users, motorized vehicles and freight carriers, and users with unique situations that limit their ability to use specific motorized or non-motorized modes to ensure that all users can travel safely, conveniently and efficiently within the right of way;
Pedestrian, bike, and transit Level of Service (LOS), in addition to vehicle measurements, shall be evaluated to ensure proposed alternatives balance, as appropriate, the needs of all users of the right of way.
The planner or designer shall calculate and design for an appropriate combination of LOS that accommodates all users;
The planner and designer shall also refer to previously established plans to ensure consistency;
Wherever possible, projects should help DDOT achieve goals as set by the Action Agenda or subsequent strategic plan;
Improvements to the right of way shall consider environmental enhancements including, but not limited to: reducing right-of-way storm water run-off, improving water quality, prioritizing and allocating sustainable tree space and planting areas (both surface and subsurface), reusing materials and/or using recycled materials, and promoting energy conservation and efficiency wherever possible;
The aforementioned policies shall be employed in all transportation planning, design, review, operations, major maintenance projects (such as milling and overlay), new construction and reconstruction projects, except where prohibited by federal and District law (such as interstates, non-motorized trails);
Routine daily maintenance and operation activities (such as potholes and cracked ceilings) are specifically exempt from this Policy. Any other exceptions require written justification, documentation, and approval by the DDOT Director or Delegate. Exceptions may be granted based upon documented safety issues, excessive cost, or absence of need.
This Order is to be given to each DDOT employee for his or her review based on the applicability of this policy to his or her job.
This Order shall apply to all DDOT employees.
This policy shall take effect immediately upon the execution of this Order.