Complete Streets

A growing number of communities across the country are implementing “complete streets,” that include accommodations for all modes of transportation, including bicycling, walking, driving, and riding the bus for people of all ages and abilities.

Iowa currently has several communities who have adopted complete streets policies. The City of Cascade passed the first resolution at a city council meeting. The Johnson County Council of Governments passed a similar policy at an Urbanized Area Policy Board meeting. The City of Iowa City has passed a complete streets policy that now includes transit. The City of Des Moines has passed a complete streets policy. Iowa currently does not have a complete streets policy at the state level, but has a guidance that requires proof of bicycle traffic prior to accommodation.

Johnson County Council of Governments (JCCOG) Complete Streets Policy

All new roadway projects, or major reconstruction projects (not including maintenance), funded in whole or part by JCCOG under this policy shall accommodate travel by pedestrians and bicyclists, except where:

  • Bicyclists and pedestrians are prohibited by law (such as interstate highways).
  • The cost would be excessively disproportionate to the need or probable use (at least 20% of overall project cost)

All exceptions to the ‘Complete Streets policy’ would be considered by the JCCOG Urbanized Area Policy Board at the time said projects were considered for funding, or during project development.

Iowa City Complete Streets Policy

WHEREAS, the City of Iowa City is committed to creating street corridors that accommodate bicyclists, pedestrians and public transit as well as motorized vehicles; and

WHEREAS, pedestrian, bicycle, public transit and motorized vehicle facilities will be implemented through subdivision design standards and public street construction and reconstruction projects; and

WHEREAS, a sidewalk infill fund has been established to construct sidewalks within existing street rights-of-way where the streets are not being reconstructed; and

WHEREAS, bicycle and pedestrian facilities will not be required where their use is prohibited; and

WHEREAS, public transit facilities will not be required on streets that do not serve as a bus transit route and the desirability of public transit facilities will be determined on a project specific basis; and

WHEREAS, bicycle, pedestrian, and public transit facilities will not be required where their cost is excessive as defined by this resolution; and

WHEREAS, Council desires to amend the Complete Streets Policy adopted by Resolution No. 07-109 to clarify that the City Council will make the decision whether the cost of bicycle, pedestrian and/or other public transit facilities is disproportionate to the need or probable use.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF IOWA CITY, IOWA, THAT:

All public street projects or public street reconstruction projects (not including maintenance) in the City of Iowa City shall be designed to accommodate travel by pedestrians, bicyclists, public transit, and motorized vehicles and their passengers with the following exceptions:

1. Bicycle and pedestrian facilities are not required where they are prohibited by law such as within interstate highway corridors.

2. Public transit facilities are not required on streets not serving as transit routes; the desirability of bus turn-off bays and other transit facilities will be determined on a project specific basis.

3. If the cost of bicycle, pedestrian, and/or public transit facilities is excessively disproportionate to the need or probable use, defined as at least 20% of the overall project cost, the City Council may choose not to require bicycle, pedestrian and/or transit facilities. This action may occur during the budget and capital improvements program approval process, at a work session discussing the project, and/or when project plans and specifications are approved.

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