North Carolina Complete Streets Summit

The North Carolina Complete Streets Summit was held in Charlotte, NC, on July 23, 2014. This one-day event provided transportation and planning professionals and policy makers in North Carolina with an opportunity to learn more about how the state is improving conditions for all road users. Presentations featured examples of projects from around the state that highlight how Complete Streets principles have been applied in North Carolina.

Program

The program for the Summit featured presentations from professionals around the state on a variety of topics related to complete streets, including project planning and funding, countermeasures and roadway design, and public participation. Presentations focused on areas where NCDOT and local, county, and regional partners can work together to address complete streets implementation. Panelists representing agencies and organizations from around the state highlighted the importance of complete streets projects.

 

The program is available below, along with links to download PDF copies of the presentation slides. Presentations can be accessed by clicking the name/agency of the presenter.

 

Opening Plenary

The opening plenary featured presentations from Lauren Blackburn (Director of NCDOT’s Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation), Nick Tennyson (Chief Deputy Secretary of NCDOT) and Danny Pleasant (Director of the Charlotte Department of Transportation. Download the slides here.

 

Morning Breakout Sessions

Participants are encouraged to select one of the four breakout sessions to attend. Each session will feature panel presentations and a facilitated discussion on specific topics related to Complete Streets.

  • Complete Streets Project Costs and Funding Strategies—Cited as the one of the primary challenges in implementing complete streets policies, funding plays a role in nearly every transportation project. With limited budgets, how can communities justify incorporating multimodal elements into their projects? How much do these elements really add to project costs, how are communities utilizing nontraditional partners to support transportation projects, and how do Complete Streets projects impact local economies? John Chesser (UNC Charlotte Urban Institute) presented findings from a project that compared the cost of pedestrian and bicycle facilities to overall project costs. Dean Ledbetter (NCDOT Division 11) discussed funding sources and partnerships for projects in his Division. Finally, Norm Steinman (Charlotte DOT) shared the city’s experience addressing various costs and benefits associated with Complete Streets projects.
  • Bicycle and Pedestrian Facilities at Bridges and Interchanges—How are on-road facilities, multiuse paths and other multimodal accommodations handled across and under NCDOT bridges? What are some solutions for pedestrians and bicyclists on bridges and at interchange locations? This session addressed how best to ensure complete streets and network connectivity at these locations. John Williams (NCDOT) discussed guidelines that address greenway projects underneath and across bridges, and Matt Magnasco (Charlotte DOT) shared a local agency perspective on addressing multimodal considerations at interchange and bridge locations.
  • Integrating Land Use with Complete Streets Implementation—This session focused on coordinating complete street design, land use, and development policies/practices to advance mobility and economic vitality (including complete arterial streets). Ian Lockwood (Toole Design Group) addressed land use and transportation planning considerations along arterial streets. Tracy Newsome (Charlotte DOT) and Kathy Cornett (City of Charlotte) described how Charlotte is using its Centers, Corridors, and Wedges Framework, area planning, and complete streets to aid mutually reinforcing land use and transportation decision-making. Fred Royal (Town of Pittsboro) presented land use and transportation planning strategies being implemented in Pittsboro, NC.
  • Strategies to Increase Public ParticipationHow are communities reaching out to stakeholders and community members as transportation decisions are made? What is being done to move beyond traditional approaches to public participation and receive input from all stakeholders? Panelists shared perspectives on increasing public participation through various strategies. John Tallmadge (Triangle Transit) shared information about his agency’s efforts to increase public participation in its service and capital planning. Inga Kennedy (Planners for Environmental Quality) provided examples of effective strategies for engaging and educating the public on why Complete Streets are needed and how to appropriately design and use them. Diane Wilson (NCDOT) shared information about NCDOT’s Public Engagement Toolkit and how it can be used to better engage the public as part of a plan, project or study process.

Afternoon Breakout Sessions

Participants are encouraged to select one of the four breakout sessions to attend. Each session will feature panel presentations and a facilitated discussion on specific topics related to Complete Streets.

  • Local Agency Preparation for Complete Streets Implementation—How can local agencies begin to prepare for implementation of NCDOT’s Complete Streets Policy? This session focused on developing local plans, policies and ordinances to support and facilitate complete streets implementation. Claudia Nix (Liberty Bicycles, Inc.) discussed the process that the French Broad River MPO went through to develop its Complete Streets policy and review proposed projects to match them to the NCDOT Complete Streets Policy. Trish McGuire (Town of Carrboro) discussed recent transportation projects completed in coordination with NCDOT that prioritized multimodal improvements.
  • Best Practices for On-Road Bicycle Facilities—What does research, user preference and crash data say are the preferred and safest approaches for providing bicycle facilities? This session explored the pros and cons of conventional bike lanes, buffered bike lanes, and shared lanes, as well as countermeasures and other treatments at intersections.
  • Connecting to Transit—How can local and regional transit systems impact complete streets decisions and outcomes? What is the role of transit agencies in implementing complete streets? Erik Landfried (Triangle Transit) discussed how focusing on the user experience can help planners, engineers, and policymakers create transportation systems that provide better outcomes to all users. Jim Keenan (City of Charlotte) walked through the approach used for the City’s initial light rail station area planning, share lessons learned, and explain how all members of the multi-departmental team play a role in the process.
  • Applying Complete Streets in Rural SettingsWhat are rural communities doing to support complete streets implementation, and how do these projects differ from those in urban and suburban locations? This discussion centered on what rural communities are doing to incorporate pedestrian, bicycle and transit elements into the transportation network. Scott Cole (NCDOT Division 10) discussed complete streets implementation along rural secondary roads, specifically as part of resurfacing efforts. Reuben Moore (JM Teague Traffic Engineering) discussed a shoulder widening project in Jackson County, NC. Dennis Markatos-Soriano and Niles Barnes (East Coast Greenway Alliance) discussed efforts to complete the East Coast Greenway in rural areas of Eastern North Carolina.

Closing Plenary (3:00pm)

Ian Lockwood (Toole Design Group) led a recap of the day’s discussions, and was joined by Michael Olender (AARP North Carolina) who discussed the importance of Complete Streets to the State’s aging population. There are no slides available for this portion of the program.

 

Continuing Education Credits

The Summit was approved for 5 professional development hours (PDHs), and each of the individual breakout sessions was approved for 1.5 certification maintenance (CM) credits. Participants were provided with certificates of attendance via email following the Summit, along with other documentation to claim these credits.

 

Contact

If you have questions about the Summit, please contact Dan Gelinne at the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center (gelinne@hsrc.unc.edu, 919-962-8703).