Complete Streets Program
Complete Streets are streets for everyone.
They are planned, designed and operated for safe mobility for all users including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and transit users of all ages and abilities. VTA, in a collaborative effort with its Member Agencies and partner agencies such as Caltrans, The Santa Clara County Health Department, and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), has developed a Complete Streets Program for Santa Clara County.
VTA is currently conducting three Complete Streets Corridor Studies: Story-Keyes, Tasman, and Bascom, which are discussed below. The main objective of this program is to formulate a process for implementing incremental improvements to make the streets in Santa Clara County more complete. VTA’s Complete Streets Program currently consists of three activity areas:
- Education and Outreach
- Corridor Studies
The following memorandum and presentation provides further background information on VTA’s Complete Streets Program and on Complete Streets efforts in Santa Clara County.
Complete Street Memorandum and Presentation (August 2012)
Education and Outreach
Continuous education and ongoing communication with our communities are key activities to designing and implementing complete streets. Ideal designs are sensitive to the surrounding context and use the latest best practices. Below is a list of educational workshops and seminars that VTA has undertaken in partnership with its local agency staff, elected officials and other organizations:
- Complete Streets Design and Implementation Workshop sponsored by Santa Clara County Public Health Department and Smart Growth America Complete Streets Coalitions (July 2017)
- Overcoming Legal Obstacles to Complete Streets Design Forum sponsored by Santa Clara County Public Health Department (September 2015)
- National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) Santa Clara County-San Jose Street Design Workshop (March 2015)
- Metropolitan Transportation Commission Complete Streets Policy Workshop (October 2012)
Current Complete Streets Corridor Studies
In early 2015, VTA initiated a new phase of its Complete Streets program by beginning a series of corridor studies to implement Complete Streets elements along select roadways in Santa Clara County. This planning effort is a partnership between VTA and its member agencies to transform select roadways into high-quality, multimodal streets that prioritize bicycle, pedestrian and transit travel while still serving motorists.
The VTA Great Streets: Complete Streets Corridor Study memo (February 2015) provides an overview of this corridor study effort.
In Spring 2015, VTA secured grant funding to conduct three studies under this overall effort:
- The Story Keyes Corridor Complete Streets Study in San Jose
- The Tasman Corridor Complete Streets Study in Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, San Jose and Milpitas
- The Bascom Corridor Complete Streets Study in San Jose, Santa Clara County, and Campbell
Complete Street policies are an important tool for integrating Complete Streets best practices into all aspects of capital project delivery. Over the past several years, VTA has supported these efforts, which include:
VTA’s Complete Streets Policy, adopted in December 2017, formalizes the Complete Streets approach VTA uses when designing transportation infrastructure. It encourages transparency so that the public can learn about and provide input into decisions made by planners, designers, and engineers.
VTA’s Complete Streets Policy expands on its direction on Multimodal Design Practices and Principles, adopted by the VTA Board of Directors in 2009. The Multimodal Design Practices and Principles directs staff to use complete streets best practices on all future roadway projects as feasible, using the as an example.
In June 2017, the VTA Board of Directors adopted Complete Streets requirements for 2016 Measure B. As described in the requirements, in order to be eligible to receive 2016 Measure B funds, all recipients must adopt Complete Streets resolution that contains the nine elements of Complete Streets laid out by MTC for OBAG Cycle 2. These elements describe Complete Streets principles, implementation, evaluation, and exception processes.
VTA developed a Countywide Competitive Complete Streets program as part of the One Bay Area Grant (OBAG) program. The program distributes certain Federal flexible transportation grant funds to local agencies for construction of transportation projects. The following memorandum summarizes the criteria developed for the initial program, which funded projects for fiscal years 2012-13 through 2016-17: One Bay Area Grant (OBAG): Local Program Development Criteria (October 2012).
The One Bay Area Grant program continues to be the primary source for funding transportation projects in Santa Clara County, with the second cycle providing funding for fiscal years 2017-18 through 2021-22. To be eligible to receive funding in OBAG Cycle 2, local agencies must have either adopted a Complete Streets policy or have an updated General Plan that incorporates Complete Streets concepts. VTA is responsible for local enforcement of this requirement.
VTA supports and follows the Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s (MTC) Complete Streets Policy (Resolution 3765, Adopted June 28, 2006), which requires pedestrian and bicyclist needs to be accommodated in any infrastructure project funded all or in part with regional funds.