CDOT just adopted what is basically Complete Streets policy. How relevant, considering they’re our neighbor, and that a Complete Streets Resolution is set for tomorrow night’s City Council agenda. If Complete Streets are important to you in Topeka, please call the city clerk’s office 368-3940 by 5 p.m. Tuesday, November 24 to sign up to speak for item 7B. Then, ride your bike to the city council meeting, and carry your helmet in with you.
(Courtesy Alliance for Biking and Walking) – October 30, 2009
After more than two years of meetings and drafting language, Bicycle Colorado announced that the Colorado Department of Transportation’s (CDOT) Transportation Commission has adopted a groundbreaking statewide Bicycle and Pedestrian Policy.
According to Bicycle Colorado, “The new policy directs that, ‘…the needs of bicyclists and pedestrians shall be included in the planning, design, and operation of transportation facilities, as a matter of routine…’
Division of Transportation Development Director Jennifer Finch stated, ‘This is a change in philosophy for the Department [of Transportation].’
The policy was moved by Commissioner George Krawzoff and seconded by Commissioner Steve Parker, leading to unanimous votes of support from all 11 commissioners.
Praise for CDOT’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator Betsy Jacobson’s diligent work on the policy was heard from Bicycle Colorado, Ms. Finch, and the Commissioners. Bicycle Colorado’s Executive Director Dan Grunig said, ‘We have passed positive bicycle legislation and overturned bike bans, but passing this policy may be the biggest step we’ve taken towards bicyclists being treated as legitimate road users.’
TWO YEAR PROCESS
Bicycle Colorado worked with CDOT for a number of years encouraging a formal bicycle and pedestrian policy. The Commission instructed CDOT staff in 2007 to begin evaluating its bicycle and pedestrian policies and practices. They convened a series of stakeholder meetings to determine areas to be addressed in policy and procedures. The resulting policy is a product of the input of all the stakeholders representing other state departments, local governments, and user groups. CDOT staff did a thorough job, gathering input from all their internal departments and divisions throughout the process.
Adoption of this policy is a big step but there is still work to do. Implementation is the key to the policy’s success. Executive Director Russ George and the Executive Management Team will issue a Procedural Directive in the next couple of months detailing implementation plans.
The Directive will guide CDOT departments on how to incorporate bicyclist and pedestrian needs into road design, maintenance, transportation planning, education, etc. It will also detail the circumstances when projects may opt out of the policy and how that decision will be made available to the public. Bicycle Colorado will continue to participate in the process to ensure positive results for bicyclists.
Read the story on the Alliance for Biking and Walking website here.
Read the policy here