Complete Streets and routine accommodation state laws
Porter, Jamila Mosi Curry
MetadataShow full item record
Introduction: Pedestrian injury is a significant public health problem in the U.S. Routine accommodation policies – commonly known as “Complete Streets” policies – have been adopted by local and state governments to improve the safety of non-motorized road users (e.g., pedestrians and bicyclists) by mandating their accommodation as a routine part of roadway planning, construction, operation, and maintenance. To date, there has not been a systematic review of these laws, nor has any study examined whether the adoption and implementation of a state Complete Streets law can be linked to changes in a public health outcome (e.g., pedestrian fatalities). The purpose of this research was to: (1) inventory state Complete Streets and routine accommodation laws; (2) determine whether Florida’s adoption of a Complete Streets state law (Statute 335.065) is associated with statewide decreases in pedestrian fatalities; and (3) identify factors that have supported or hindered the implementation of Florida Statute 335.065. Methods: A comprehensive survey of state statutes was conducted using academic and legal databases, and a codebook and dataset were developed. To investigate the association between the adoption of Florida Statute 335.065 and decreases in pedestrian fatalities, a multi-method design was used, including an interrupted time-series quasi-experiment and semi-structured interviews with 10 current and former Florida transportation professionals. ARMA models compared Florida to two comparison groups. Interviews were conducted, recorded, transcribed, and analyzed. Results: Eighteen states adopted Complete Streets and routine accommodation laws from 1972 – 2015; over 70% (n=14) have been passed since 2007. Adjusting for log mortality rates in 13 regional states and all U.S. states and DC, Florida’s pedestrian fatality rates decreased significantly more per quarter after Statute 335.065 was adopted (0.251% and 0.252%, respectively). Interviewees described supports and challenges associated with implementing Statute 335.065. Conclusions: This research: (1) describes an inventory of state Complete Streets and routine accommodation laws and their provisions; (2) confirms that state Complete Streets laws can be associated with significant reductions in pedestrian fatalities; (3) reveals factors that can influence the implementation and effectiveness of Complete Streets laws; and (4) affirms that transportation policies can have significant and quantifiable impacts on public health outcomes.