In the Know: Identifying tips and practices for a more sustainable future
Engaging residents on inexpensive, effective ways to improve streets
New Haven focuses on resident input and low-cost solutions.
New Haven, Connecticut’s “Complete Streets” program has become a major planning tool for improving neighborhoods by rethinking the physical design of streets to make New Haven more livable and appealing to all residents – and encourages residents to submit project ideas.
In 2010, the city adopted a design manual focused on providing safe and convenient user access, more transportation choices and a change in thinking from manuals produced by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), which restrict creative approaches to urban traffic problems. This year, the city is implementing "Complete Streets 2.0," which supplements its Complete Streets Design Manual with the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) Urban Street Design Guide
. This will allow New Haven to bring national "lessons learned" to its program and to help the city develop low-cost projects.
The City solicits neighborhood dialogue and resident input by scheduling community information meetings that focus on specific streets and intersections. New Haven Department of Engineering’s “Complete Streets” webpage also includes a Project Request Form so that residents can suggest projects. A committee made up of residents and city staff reviews submitted projects for consideration.
The City is particularly interested in pilot projects – at least one in every Elm City neighborhood by the end of 2015 – involving low-cost measures that can be implemented quickly (like using 40-cents-per-linear-foot epoxy paint for demarcation instead of building a 40-dollars-per-linear-foor granite curb) while generating significant changes at low risk. Quick, low-cost projects that don’t work or result in the intended improvement can easily be changed or tweaked in future.
For additional information:
Giovanni Zinn, P.E.
City of New Haven Engineering Department