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S. 2686 (110th): Complete Streets Act of 2008

The text of the bill below is as of Mar 3, 2008 (Introduced).

S 2686 IS


2d Session

S. 2686

To ensure that all users of the transportation system, including pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit users as well as children, older individuals, and individuals with disabilities, are able to travel safely and conveniently on streets and highways.


March 3, 2008

Mr. HARKIN (for himself and Mr. CARPER) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation


To ensure that all users of the transportation system, including pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit users as well as children, older individuals, and individuals with disabilities, are able to travel safely and conveniently on streets and highways.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


    This Act may be cited as the `Complete Streets Act of 2008'.


    Section 133 of title 23, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

    `(g) Complete Streets Policy-

      `(1) IN GENERAL- Beginning with the fiscal year that begins 2 years after the date of enactment of this subsection, States and Metropolitan Planning Organizations shall--

        `(A) adopt an explicit statement of policy (that meets the requirements of subsection (b)) that the safety and convenience of all users of the transportation system shall be accommodated;

        `(B) apply such policy to the projects contained in the Transportation Improvement Program; and

        `(C) incorporate the principles in this policy into all aspects of the transportation project development process, including project identification, scoping procedures and design approvals, as well as design manuals and performance measures.

      `(2) PURPOSE- The purpose of the policy statement required under paragraph (1)(A) is to ensure that all users of the transportation system, including pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit users as well as children, older individuals, and individuals with disabilities, are able to travel safely and conveniently on streets and highways within the public right of way.

    `(h) Policy Statement Requirements- A policy statement under subsection (g)(1)(A) shall include the following:

      `(1) An assurance that all users of the transportation system will include pedestrians (including individuals of all ages, and individuals with disabilities (including mobility, sensory, neurological or hidden disabilities)), bicyclists, transit vehicles and users, and motorists.

      `(2) An assurance that the statement will apply to both new construction and reconstruction (including resurfacing, restoring, and rehabilitation (3R) projects) improvement projects. Simple improvements, such as re-striping for bicycle and pedestrian accommodation, may be encouraged in pavement resurfacing projects when they fall within the overall scope of the original roadwork.

      `(3) A clear procedure that requires approval by a senior manager of any specified exceptions from implementing the policy statement, including documentation with supporting data that indicates the basis for the exemption.

      `(4) A statement directing the use of the current design standards, including those standards applying to access for individuals with disabilities.

      `(5) A statement requiring that complete streets solutions be developed to fit in with the context of the community and that those solutions be flexible.

      `(6) A description of the performance standards with measurable outcomes that will be developed.

      `(7) A statement that accommodation shall be made for all users in all construction and improvement projects unless one or more of the following apply:

        `(A) The project involved a roadway on which non-motorized users are prohibited by law from using. In such case, a greater effort shall be made to accommodate bicyclists and pedestrians elsewhere.

        `(B) The cost of establishing complete facilities would be excessively disproportionate to the need or probable use.

        `(C) With respect to a project area with a low population, other documented factors indicate an absence of need now and in the future.

        `(D) A Metropolitan Planning Organization or State department of transportation that is adopting complete streets policies may consult existing Federal guidance, including the 2000 USDOT Guidance document, `Accommodating Bicycle and Pedestrian Travel'.

        `(E) The policy statement may be achieved through a State or local law or ordinance, or through an agency policy directive.

    `(i) Certifications- The Metropolitan Planning Organization and State department of transportation shall certify that each road project included in such plan has been reviewed for its compliance with any applicable policy statement under this section and that each project under such plan enhances the safety, convenience, and accessibility of the transportation system for all users to the extent that it is reasonably possible and that the project applicant addressed these concerns in the material prepared for public input with respect to such plan. A Metropolitan Planning Organization's implementation of its complete streets policy shall be a factor included in the review for the Metropolitan Planning Organization certification as provided for in section 134(5).

    `(j) Accessibility Standards- Not later than 12 months after the date of enactment of this subsection, the United States Access Board shall issue final standards for accessibility of new construction and alterations of pedestrian facilities in the public right-of-way. Until such time as the Access Board completes a final Public Right of Way Accessibility rule, Department of Transportation Standards for Accessible Transportation Facilities (49 C.F.R. 37.9, as amended on 10/30/2006 (71 FR 63263)) shall serve as the minimum standard. If the Department Of Transportation standards are silent or inapplicable with respect to any issue, the 2005 draft Public Right Of Way Accessibility Guidelines provisions shall be consulted.

    `(k) Inclusion of All Users- Metropolitan planning organizations and State departments of transportation shall strongly encourage local jurisdictions that are served by such organizations to maximize their efforts to include all users in their transportation planning.

    `(l) Additional Provisions-

      `(1) RESEARCH-

        `(A) IN GENERAL- The Secretary of Transportation shall require the Federal Highway Administration to conduct complete streets research to assist States and Metropolitan Planning Organizations in developing, adopting, and implementing plans, projects, procedures, policies, and training that comply with the applicable statement of policy under subsection (g)(1)(A).

        `(B) PARTICIPATION- Research under subparagraph (A) shall be conducted with the participation of the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials, the Institute of Transportation Engineers, the American Public Transit Association, the American Planning Association, the National Association of Regional Councils, the Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations, and representatives of the disability, motoring, bicycling, walking, transit user, aging, and other affected communities.

        `(C) EXISTING NEEDS- Research under subparagraph (A) shall be based on the existing statement of complete streets research needs as outlined by the Transportation Research Board in TR Circular E110, and shall also develop new areas of inquiry.

      `(2) BENCHMARKS AND GUIDANCE- The research project conducted under paragraph (1) shall be designed to result in the establishment of benchmarks and the provision of practical guidance on how to effectively implement street procedures and designs that will accommodate all types of users along the same facility or corridor including, vehicles, pedestrians, bicycles, and transit use. Such benchmarks and guidance shall focus on changing scoping, design, and construction procedures to more effectively fit the individual modes together into integrated facilities that meet the needs of each in an appropriate balance. Such benchmarks and guidance shall indicate the expected operational and safety performance of alternative approaches to facility design.

      `(3) BEST PRACTICES REPORT- Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this subsection, the Federal Highway Administration shall publish a best practices report showing how transportation agencies have changed their procedures to routinely design safe, effective multi-modal facilities. In establishing such best practices, consideration shall be given to the following areas:

        `(A) Procedures for identifying the needs of the mix of users, including primary and secondary users that need to be served on various highway functional classes.

        `(B) The identification of the types and designs of facilities needed to serve each of those types of users.

        `(C) The identification of barriers to implementation as well as identification of costs associated with implementing complete streets policies.

      `(4) DATA COLLECTION- In addition to preparing the report under paragraph (3), the Federal Highway Administration shall work with the Bureau of Transportation Statistics and the Federal Transit Association and appropriate Transportation Research Board committees on data collection, including a baseline non-motorized and transit use survey that will be integrated into the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the development of a survey tool for use by State transportation departments in identifying the multi-modal capacity of State and local road networks.'.