Press contact: Corinne Kisner, 646-629-4165
Oakland, CA, April 11, 2014
The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) officially endorsed the NACTO Urban Street Design Guide and Urban Bikeway Design Guide as valuable toolkits for designing and constructing safe, attractive local streets. This endorsement, which Malcolm Dougherty announced at NACTO’s Cities for Cycling Road Show in Oakland, is a landmark policy decision that catapults the agency forward as a national leader on designing streets to accommodate all users.
“California’s transportation system must be multimodal and support bicycles and pedestrians as well as automobiles,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty. “Caltrans’ endorsement of these innovative street design options is an important part of modernizing our approach to improving transportation for all Californians.”
Following Caltrans’ endorsement, all streets within California cities and towns may immediately use the NACTO guidelines. In addition to endorsing the NACTO guidelines for local streets and roads, these guidelines can be referenced for city streets that are part of the state highway system.
“Caltrans is showing great leadership in working with cities and counties to embrace creative and more convenient transportation options for everyone,” said California State Transportation Agency Secretary Brian Kelly.
With their statewide endorsement, Caltrans becomes the third State Department of Transportation to officially endorse the Guide, following Washington state DOT’s endorsement in December 2013 and Massachusetts state DOT’s endorsement in early April 2014. This state-level policy marks a sea change for communities in California, and local transportation leaders across the state are enthusiastic about the implications for urban streets.
“We’re very encouraged by Caltrans’ endorsement. We’re grateful for the leadership of Secretary Kelly, Deputy Secretary Kate White, and Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty, and look forward to future changes that will further institutionalize these guidelines for the benefit of all of California’s urban cities,” remarked Ed Reiskin, Director of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) and President of NACTO.
“My Great Streets Initiative is reimagining our streets to make our communities more livable, sustainable, and safe,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “I look forward to working with Caltrans and Los Angeles city staff to immediately begin using the NACTO design guidelines as we pursue a multimodal vision for L.A.’s transportation system.”
“Oakland has made immense strides to implement attractive street designs that are safe for everyone, whether they are biking, walking, taking transit or driving. Caltrans’ endorsement of the NACTO Urban Street Design Guide will allow us to accelerate this progress,” said Jamie Parks, Complete Streets Program manager for Oakland Public Works.
Caltrans’ endorsement of the NACTO guidelines is part of the agency’s ongoing effort to integrate a multimodal and flexible approach to transportation planning and design. In 2012, Caltrans updated its Highway Design Manual to facilitate the design of Complete Streets, which incorporates a multimodal approach to highway design. Following this endorsement of the NACTO guidelines, Caltrans is evaluating them for future updates to the Highway Design Manual, the standard for building on the state’s highway system.
Caltrans joins a growing group of transportation departments leading the charge for world-class urban street design. In addition to California, Massachusetts and Washington State DOTs, 30 cities have endorsed the Urban Street Design Guide, including San Francisco, Oakland, San Diego and Davis.
“City by city, state by state, there’s a growing recognition of the need for a national playbook to keep pace with the 21st-century demands being placed on our streets,” said Janette Sadik-Khan, NACTO Strategic Advisory Board Chair. “Caltrans recognizes the critical role that innovative street and bike infrastructure design play on our streets, and this endorsement by the nation’s most populous state gives the green light to an even wider acceptance of these guides nationally.
The endorsement campaign for the Urban Street Design Guide will run through May 1, 2014. Letters of endorsement and city council resolutions supporting the Guide are available on NACTO’s website at nacto.org/urban-street-design-guide-endorsement-campaign/. Cities, states and counties interested in endorsing the Guide should contact David Vega-Barachowitz, Director of the Designing Cities initiative, at [email protected].