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Recently Ald. Scott Ogilvie, representing the City of St. Louis’s 24th Ward, attended a St. Louis County Council meeting and spoke in favor of the proposed “Complete Streets” ordinance. His testimony was followed by his OpEd in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. That prompted me to find and review St. Louis City’s Complete Streets ordinance, and to my surprise, it’s quite bland in comparison to the current St. Louis County bill. It hedges its requirements for any proposals to meet Complete Streets goals by adding the proviso: “where such are practicable and economically feasible.” There’s no requirement for a Complete Streets Peer Advisory Committee, which would include Trailnet, the primary organization spearheading the current St. Louis County effort.

One wonders how Ogilvie can justify supporting such a draconian measure for St. Louis County as compared to that adopted by St. Louis City.

However, even St. Louis City’s seemingly benign Complete Streets ordinance is not so, as witness the recent major restriping of Manchester/MO Route 100 in the City in October, 2013, which led directly to a car-bike crash two months later.

Below is the wording of St. Louis City’s ordinance:

DL35-838 St. Louis City Ordinance 68663
Apr 30, 2010
FLOOR SUBSTITUTE
BOARD BILL NO. [10] 7

INTRODUCED BY ALDERMAN SHANE COHN, LEWIS REED, FREEMAN BOSLEY, SR., DIONNE FLOWERS, SAMUEL L. MOORE, KACIE STARR TRIPLETT, STEPHEN J. CONWAY, JENNIFER FLORIDA, ANTONIO D. FRENCH, GREGORY CARTER, LYDA KREWSON, PHYLLIS YOUNG, FRANK WILLIAMSON, CRAIG N. SCHMID, MARLENE DAVIS, JEFFREY BOYD, KENNETH ORTMANN, DONNA BARINGER, JOE VACCARO, APRIL FORD GRIFFIN

An ordinance relating to a “complete streets” policy for the City of St. Louis, stating guiding principles and practices so that transportation improvements are planned, designed and constructed to encourage walking, bicycling and transit use while promoting safe operations for all users.

Whereas, the City desires to encourage walking, bicycling and transit use as safe, convenient and widely available modes of transportation for all people; and

Whereas, the City desires to adopt a “Complete Streets” policy which is to be used as guiding principle, where practicable and economically feasible, in the design, operation and maintenance of City streets to promote safe and convenient access and travel for all users including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, transit riders, and people of all abilities; and

Whereas, the City will strive to consult with Business Districts and Neighborhood Associations in consideration of functional facilities and accommodations in furtherance of the City’s “Complete Streets” policy; and

Whereas, transportation improvements, facilities and amenities that may contribute to “Complete Streets” will be developed to fit in with the context of the surrounding community and may include: Street and sidewalk lighting; pedestrian and bicycle safety improvements; access improvements, including compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act; public transit facilities accommodation including, but not limited to, pedestrian access improvement to transit stops and stations; street trees and landscaping; drainage; and street amenities; and

Whereas, the City will consider such transportation improvements, facilities and amenities where such are practicable and economically feasible during the construction, reconstruction or other changes of transportation facilities on streets and redevelopment projects.

BE IT ORDAINED BY THE CITY OF ST. LOUIS AS FOLLOWS:

SECTION ONE. The “Complete Streets” policy sets forth the guiding principles and practices to be considered in public transportation projects, where practicable, economically feasible, and otherwise in accordance with applicable law, so as to encourage walking, bicycling and transit use while promoting safe operations for all users.

SECTION TWO. While the “Complete Streets” policy does not require certain designs or construction standards and does not require specific improvements, this policy does require the City to consider complete street elements in the design, construction and maintenance of public transportation projects, improvements and facilities in addition to other considerations including, but not limited to, cost of improvements, budget for the project, space and area requirements and limitations and legal requirements and limitations.

SECTION THREE. Guiding principles and practices of the “Complete Streets” policy are as follows:

1. “Complete Street” Defined. A “Complete Street” is designed to be a transportation corridor for all users including pedestrians, bicyclists, transit users, and motorists. “Complete Streets” are designed and operated to enable safe continuous travel networks for all users. Pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and bus riders of all ages and abilities are able to safely move from destination to destination along and across a network of “Complete Streets”. Transportation improvements, facilities and amenities that may contribute to “Complete Streets” and that are considered as elements of a “Complete Street” include street and sidewalk lighting; pedestrian and bicycle safety improvements; access improvements, including compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act; public transit facilities accommodation including, but not limited to, pedestrian access improvement to transit stops and stations; street trees and landscaping; drainage; and street amenities.

2. The City will strive, where practicable and economically feasible, to incorporate one or more “Complete Street” elements into public transportation projects in order to provide appropriate accommodation for bicyclists, pedestrians, transit users and persons of all abilities, while promoting safe operation for all users, in comprehensive and connected networks in a manner consistent with, and supportive of, the surrounding community.

3. The City will strive to incorporate “Complete Streets” principles into all public strategic plans, upon subsequent updates. The principles, where practicable, shall be incorporated into other public works plans, manuals, rules, regulations and programs as appropriate and directed by the President of the Board of Public Service.

4. It shall be a goal of the City to foster partnerships with the State of Missouri, St. Louis County, neighboring communities, City of St. Louis Business Districts and Neighborhood Associations in consideration of functional facilities and accommodations in furtherance of the City’s “Complete Streets” policy and the continuation of such facilities and accommodations beyond the City’s borders.

5. The City recognizes that “Complete Streets” may be achieved through single elements incorporated into a particular project or incrementally through a series of smaller improvements or maintenance activities over time. The City will attempt to draw upon all possible funding sources to plan and implement this policy and shall investigate grants that may be available to make “Complete Streets” elements more economically feasible.

SECTION FOUR. During the planning phase of any public improvement project, a designee of the President of the Board of Public Service shall conduct a study and analysis relating to the addition and incorporation of one or more “Complete Streets” elements into the public transportation project. The study and analysis shall include cost estimates, whether the elements could be incorporated in a safe manner, the degree that such improvements or facilities may be utilized, the benefit of such improvements or facilities to other public transportation improvements, whether additional property is required, physical or area requirements or limitations and verify the availability of maintenance funds to support proposed improvements and any other factors deemed relevant.

Such study and analysis shall be submitted to the President of the Board of Public Service for consideration in the design and planning of the public transportation project. The President of the Board of Public Service shall consider the incorporation of one or more “Complete Streets” elements in each public transportation project to the extent that such is economically and physically feasible.

SECTION FIVE. Emergency Clause. This being an ordinance for the preservation of public peace, health and safety, it is hereby declared to be an emergency measure within the meaning of Sections 19 and 20 of Article IV of the Charter of the City of St. Louis and therefore this ordinance shall become effective immediately upon its passage and approval by the Mayor.

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