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Town of Mansfield, Connecticut

Complete Streets Policy

Vision and Purpose

Complete Streets are designed and operated to promote an integrated and balanced transportation network. Furthermore, Complete Street Principles contribute toward the safety, health and economic viability, and quality of life in a community by providing accessible and efficient connections between home, school, work, recreation and retail destinations by improving the pedestrian, non-motorized, and vehicular environments throughout the community.

The purpose of Mansfield’s Complete Streets policy, therefore, is to accommodate all road users by creating a transportation network that meets the needs of individuals by utilizing a variety of transportation modes. This policy directs decision makers to consistently plan, design and construct streets to accommodate all anticipated users including but not limited to pedestrians, bicyclists, transit riders, motorists, emergency vehicles and freight and commercial vehicles. With the implementation of Complete Streets Policy, the Town seeks to provide a higher level of safety and accessibility for all users of its roadways, trails and transit systems.

Goals

The goal of the Complete Street Policy is to ensure our Town roadways complement and enhance the surrounding land use and neighborhood character and accommodate all users, including drivers, bicyclists, pedestrians and transit patrons, older residents, children and persons with mobility impairments. The specific goals are:

  1. Implement Community Design Principles identified in Mansfield Tomorrow to focus streets as three-dimensional shared spaces.
  2. To protect and preserve the environment of the Town of Mansfield by reducing the emission of greenhouse gases, improving stormwater runoff, and reducing the consumption of non-renewable energy resources.
  3. To expand opportunities for bicyclists and pedestrians throughout the Town.
  4. To make the roadway environment safer and more inviting by reducing the frequency and severity of vehicular, bicycle and pedestrian-related accidents.
  5. To improve the safety of pedestrian and bicycle routes for children to get to school.
  6. To improve and enhance the health and physical fitness of the Town’s residents by providing more safe and convenient opportunities for bicycling and walking.
  7. To improve the Town’s quality of life and local economy by providing high quality recreational and multi-modal transportation facilities and providing non-motorized means of transportation.

Guiding Principles

It is recognized that each Complete Street is unique and the following principles shall guide the development of transportation projects:

  1. Shall be suitable and appropriate to the function and context of the transportation facility;
  2. Complete Streets principles include the development and implementation of projects in a context-sensitive manner where project implementation is sensitive to the community’s physical, financial and social setting;
  3. Shall be flexible in project design to ensure that all users have basic safe access and use;
  4. Shall be considered a component of a comprehensive, integrated and interconnected transportation network that allows all users to choose between different modes of travel; and
  5. Shall be consistent and compatible with Mansfield Tomorrow.
  6. Implementation of Complete Streets Policy will be carried out cooperatively within all departments in the Town of Mansfield with multi-jurisdictional cooperation, to the greatest extent possible, among private developers, and state, regional, and federal agencies.

Applicability and Scope

All Transportation Improvements and phases fall under this policy. Complete Streets principles will be applied to all Town- or State-sponsored improvements and all privately-funded projects and developments that impact the right-of-way. The Town will approach every planned Transportation Improvement as an opportunity to create safer and more accessible streets for all users.

Transportation improvement phases include, but are not limited to, planning, programming, designing, engineering, construction and reconstruction, operation and maintenance. Maintenance activities alone are not Complete Streets Improvements, nor should they prompt street improvements that necessitate Complete Streets consideration except those improvements that may be necessary to satisfy legal mandates such as the Americans with Disabilities Act. To the maximum extent possible, provisions for safe access shall be made for pedestrians and bicyclists during maintenance activities. Complete Streets policy objectives may be achieved by implementing single elements into a project, completing a series of improvements over the course of time, or by developing major network level improvements. The Town recognizes that its infrastructure includes a transportation network that should provide convenient access and safe travel for all users within the Town.

Implementation

The Town shall make Complete Streets practices a routine part of everyday operations, shall approach every transportation project and program as an opportunity to improve streets and the transportation network for all users and shall work in coordination with other departments, agencies and jurisdictions to achieve Complete Streets.

The Town shall review and either revise or develop proposed revisions to all appropriate planning documents, zoning and subdivision regulations, and templates to integrate Complete Streets principals in all transportation projects. The Town shall maintain a comprehensive inventory of pedestrian and non-motorized facility infrastructure that will prioritize projects to eliminate gaps in the sidewalk and bicycle network.

The Town will plan, design, construct, operate and maintain appropriate Facilities for pedestrians, bicyclists, transit riders, motorists, children, the elderly and people of all abilities in all new construction, reconstruction, and repaving improvements subject to the exceptions contained herein.

The Town will evaluate Capital Improvement Projects prioritization to encourage implementation of Complete Streets initiatives. The Town shall continue to identify regional, state and federal funds to implement Complete Streets Improvements to supplement the Town’s Capital Improvement Program.

Best Practices – Design Guidance

The Town will follow accepted or adopted design standards and use the best and latest design standards available, including the following:

  1. American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)
    1. A Policy on Geometric Design of Highways and Streets (6th Edition, 2011)
    2. Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities (4th edition, 2012)
    3. Guide for the Planning, Design and Operations of Pedestrian Facilities (2004)
  2. American Planning Association (APA)
    1. Complete Streets: Best Policy and Implementation Practices (2012)
    2. U.S. Traffic Calming Manual
  3. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
    1. Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices
    2. PEDSAFE: Pedestrian Safety Guide and Countermeasures Selection System
  4. Town of Mansfield
    1. Guidelines for the Use of Speed Humps (1992)
    2. Mansfield Tomorrow
  5. Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE)
    1. Design Walkable Urban Thoroughfares: A Context Sensitive Approach (2010)
  6. U.S. Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board
    1. Accessible Rights-of-Way: Design Guide
  7. Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT)
    1. Highway Design Manual