Where are we now?
The City has explicitly expressed its commitment to incorporate the Complete Streets approach into existing policies/guidelines. The Transportation Master Plan states that the City will be updating the Regional Road Corridor Design Guidelines and the Road Corridor Planning and Design Guidelines: Urban and Village Collectors, Rural Arterials and Collectors, to embrace the concepts included in Complete Streets.
While both guidelines were believed to fall within the Complete Streets framework, the City’s Infrastructure Services Branch had already retained a consultant to review all of the city’s road design guidelines to identify any missing gaps between policy and design. This review will go towards creating a “Road Design Guideline” document that will be up-to-date and include the Complete Street principles. This is expected to be a 2-year project that will be completed in 2015.
The City of Ottawa has also developed a Complete Streets Implementation Plan that focuses on decision-making rather than road cross-section designs. Currently, we have a commitment from the City to ensure the road design guidelines support a Complete Streets approach, but we do not have a commitment for when a Complete Street will be implemented. Without an implementation plan there is no accountability for when a Complete Street will and will not be built. Click here to read our summary of this implementation plan.
The passage of the Complete Streets Implementation Plan proposed by the City is dependent on a vote by the Transportation Committee on October 7th, 2015. Join us at that pivotal moment of decision-making to ensure complete streets is incorporated into planning decisions from the very beginning.
10 Key Elements of a Comprehensive Complete Streets Policy
Based on examples from other cities, we need to ensure that the City’s Complete Streets policy contains the 10 key elements of a comprehensive complete streets policy, as established by the National Complete Streets Coalition. This includes language that outlines specific next steps for policy implementation, as well as the development of concrete and measurable performance measures.
TCAT has released an analysis report that assesses the strength of the Complete Streets components of Ottawa’s OP and TMP based on these 10 elements. You can read it here.