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Monterey Bay Area Complete Streets Guidebook


Developing streets for all users

The purpose of the Monterey Bay Area Complete Streets Guidebook is to provide resources and a procedure to local jurisdictions for developing streets in the Monterey Bay Area that meet the needs of all users, including non-drivers of all ages and abilities, and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by encouraging bicycle, pedestrian and transit usage. Lack of sufficient or perceived safe bicycle and pedestrian facilities are reasons many streets are “incomplete” in the Monterey Bay Area. In recognizing that roadways have primarily been designed to serve the automobile, the guidebook addresses bicycle and pedestrian access as an essential design objective.

Why do it?

The policy guidance and recommendations included in the Monterey Bay Area Complete Streets Guidebook can be adopted by jurisdictions to address the following needs:

  • Comply with California Complete Streets legislation (AB 1358);
  • Ensure that roadways function well for all roadway users;
  • Adopt a planning process in which all stakeholders (motorists, cyclists, pedestrians, transit and school bus riders, delivery and service personnel, freight haulers, and emergency responders) are considered;
  • Reduce vehicle miles traveled and reach regional greenhouse gas targets pursuant to California law (SB 375); and
  • Achieve objectives identified in local Climate Action Plans.

Tools, sample policies and best practices

The Monterey Bay Area Complete Streets Guidebook contains sample policies and engineering best practices that can be adopted by local jurisdictions to comply with California Complete Streets Legislation (AB 1358). Various complete street types are identified and defined in the guidebook, along with sample cross-sections, associated land uses and suggested roadway user prioritization. The complete street types provide design recommendations for various roadway arrangements. Another key component of the guidebook is a complete streets project review and design checklist (located in the Appendix). The checklist is a tool that can be used in planning and public works departments to identify opportunities for complete streets and document constraints or exemptions.

Unlike many procedure manuals, which tend to be more prescriptive, the Monterey Bay Area Complete Streets Guidebook places greater emphasis on best practice tools, stakeholder process, and the importance of understanding the trade-offs between different design considerations, starting with complete street types. Evaluation of differences in design considerations is an essential decision making method in the Monterey Bay Area where right-of-way constraints and funding are two of the biggest challenges faced by project sponsors. The planning process recommended by the guidebook is intended to ensure that the resulting streets provide for the safety and comfort of all users to the best extent possible.

A unique component of the Monterey Bay Area Complete Streets Guidebook is a framework for evaluating the possible economic effects of complete streets. The economic framework (located in the appendix) categorizes potential effects of both direct and non-direct transportation impacts on investments, business activity, property values, and government fiscal health. Take a look at the economics of complete streets key findings or the entire White Paper on Economics of Complete Streets.

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