In the Capitol Region, a well-balanced transportation system – one that provides high quality transit and promotes active transportation modes (walking and biking) that complement and compete with the automobile – is a critical component of creating sustainable, livable communities and regions. Not only is access to multiple transportation options important for the environment and physical health, but mobility is essential for accessing opportunity in all aspects of life (housing, education, employment, health care, healthy food, recreation and more).
What is a Complete Street?
The National Complete Streets Coalition defines Complete Streets as, “streets for everyone [that] are designed and operated to enable safe access for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities. Complete Streets make it easy to cross the street, walk to shops, and bicycle to work. They allow buses to run on time and make it safe for people to walk to and from train stations.”
Measuring Complete Streets
In 2014 CRCOG developed its first Active Transportation Audit to gather information and rate key intersections for bicycling and walking in the region. An audit is available for roadway intersections and for trails. The audits are easy to complete and are designed for communities to use on their own as well as for use in the regional bike ped count program.
Planning for Active Transportation
In 2016, CRCOG was awarded a grant of technical assistance from the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors to attend the Step it Up! Walkability Action Institute. CRCOG took an interdisciplinary team including expertise in the areas of transportation, planning, public health and an elected official. The team produced a 5-goal Action Plan to Increase Walking and Walkability.
Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning
As part of its overall transportation planning responsibilities, CRCOG is responsible for developing the region’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Plan. The 2008 Pedestrian and Bicycle Plan includes a 2015 Update Addendum which was endorsed by the CRCOG Bike Ped Committee on June 9th, 2015 and adopted by the CRCOG Transportation Committee and Policy Board on June 22, 2015. A Multi-Use Path Map is also a part of this minor 2015 update.
CRCOG is responsible for bicycle and pedestrian planning for the region. This planning is overseen by the Bicycle/Pedestrian Committee, a subcommittee of the CRCOG Transportation Committee. The Committee meets on a quarterly basis on the second Tuesday of the month at 12 Noon at the CRCOG Offices, 241 Main Street, 4th Floor Hartford, CT 06106. The location may change to showcase and learn from projects around the Capitol Region. The location will be confirmed prior to each meeting.
Metro Hartford Bike Share Study
The Greater Hartford Transit District and the Capitol Region Council of Governments recently worked with a consortium of agencies to investigate the feasibility of implementing bike share in the Hartford region and in locations outside the region, including Waterbury. The study’s final report lays out a phased plan for implementation of a regional bike share system.