It's been exactly one year since City Hall hopped aboard the Complete Streets Initiative, first rolled out at the initial Ride to City Hall and then formally presented to the council at a Transportation and Environment Committee meeting. The council had, at one point, hoped to adopt some kind of a policy, geared toward "making the City more pedestrian & bicycle-friendly," by May. But development of an actual document was delayed by the feds doling out $23 million to Dallas's street car project last February and another $400,000 in government cheese intended for the creation of a Complete Street design manual and the development of "corridor-specific conceptual street designs for 15 demonstration projects." And the new Dallas Bike Plan sort of put the Complete Streets on hold too.
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But the Strategic Plan Update, which the council will discuss during its Wyly retreat, says it's all systems go, go, go: They'll start fomenting a plan in January of next year, with the intention of wrapping the sucker by January 2012. What then? Hard to say -- because, as many Friends mentioned last year, the city isn't exactly rolling around in loose change at present. Still, a request for proposals went out last week, with the city seeking qualified bidders to put together three things that'll be rolled into one: a Complete Streets Vision Map, a Comprehensive Complete Streets Design Manual and a Strategic Implementation Plan. From the RFP's intro:
The City of Dallas includes approximately 380 square miles of land area, an expanding light rail system, an emerging streetcar system, and an estimated 4,200 miles of roadways including 1,170 miles of thoroughfares. Dallas is beginning to experience a market-driven shift in land development patterns towards mixed use within the central city and around light rail stations. This market shift brings with it a real opportunity for the city to adopt a more balanced multi-modal approach to roadway design and operation in order to promote sustainable development and increase transportation choices. The City of Dallas intends to advance the application of complete streets design principles in the implementation of future roadway improvement projects as well as in the management and operations of existing roadways. Successfully instituting a change in roadway design and operation policies and standards in a still largely automobile dependent city and region demands a systematic and thoughtful approach.