Photo: Separated Bike Lanes
Ever since my Tuesday post about how much I hate cars, I’ve been intrigued by this idea of complete streets that I discovered while researching for that post. The basic idea is that streets should be built for cars, pedestrians, bicycles, and transit. Revolutionary, eh? I’m pretty tired of being run off the road while biking around here- I’ve had so many close calls it’s scary: Car doors opening, SUVs that give you no room, cars turning in front of me- one time on East Main St. an oncoming car turned left and came within inches, literally, of hitting me. Every person on the street stopped and stared.
So far 22 cities have adopted a resolution requiring all new roads to be “complete” and for retrofitting roads when they’re repaved. Several states have adopted similar regulations, although at the state-wide level they seem to have less force, for example several statutes “suggest” that bicycle and pedestrian uses be considered when designing roads. Here’s a list of cities with “complete streets” laws on the books:
Bay Area Metropolitan Planning Organization
Sacrament Co. (including all cities)
San Diego City
West Palm Beach
City of Cascade
City of Jackson
Salt Lake City
VDOT adopted a policy in 2004 which “promote[s] the inclusion of bicycle and pedestrian accommodations in transportation planning activities at local, regional, and statewide levels.” But from the road construction I’ve seen around here, this policy has no teeth.
So what do you think? Will the Richmond region adopt complete street (or similar) policies? Will we ever get a network of urban bike lanes? Do any of you have experience in the cities mentioned above? Or any experience with decent multi-use road construction?