First Baltimore Complete Streets 30 Day Update

The first 30 day update on the Baltimore Complete Streets legislation has been provided to the Baltimore City Land Use and Transportation Committee, explaining that Baltimore City Department of Transportation is making progress on hiring a consultant for the Complete Streets Design Manual and beginning to form their public outreach plans for community input and awareness around Baltimore Complete Streets.

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Complete Streets Signed Into Law

Coalition members celebrate with the signed Baltimore Complete Streets Ordinance

Coalition members celebrate with the signed Baltimore Complete Streets Ordinance

On December 6, 2018, Baltimore Complete Streets was signed into law by Mayor Pugh. 

Cited by the National Complete Streets Coalition as one of 2017's Best Complete Streets Initiatives and celebrated by advocates as a nationally leading ordinance, Councilman Ryan Dorsey's Baltimore Complete Streets bill affects all projects currently in planning or initial design, and sets a comprehensive vision for how Baltimore City designs and operates its over 2,000 miles of right-of-way. 

Baltimore City Department of Transportation will be required to develop a robust and equity-centered public outreach process to educate the public on the ordinance and the requirements within, including development of a Complete Streets Manual that will present communities with clear standards on street design and available treatments to make roads safer for people who walk, bike, drive, use mobility devices, and take transit along them. 

Baltimore City Department of Transportation will be required to present monthly updates to the Baltimore City Council Land Use and Transportation Committee, and we will share those updates as they are made available. 

Thank you to Councilman Dorsey, the dozens of coalition members, and thousands of residents who wrote to support this legislation for making it a reality. 

Complete Streets Passes out of the City Council

From Councilman Ryan Dorsey:

Complete Streets started as a campaign promise inspired by my fight to make a bridge in my community more safe. Monday, Council Bill 17-0102 passed 3rd Reader, having evolved, through rigorous listening, discussion, drafting and revision, into one of the strongest and most innovative laws of its kind in the nation.

Passing Complete Streets is one of the most difficult things I've ever done. Our City's streets and sidewalks are truly the fabric of public space that hold our communities together, and this makes them a crucible of competing interests, and a microcosm of our civic life.

This law will touch on virtually every aspect of our transportation environment; how it is designed and built, how we prioritize and steward investments, how we engage with community, design for safety and equity, and report outcomes.

With Mayor Pugh’s signature we will begin a 13-month process of implementation; creating a manual of new guidelines for how DOT designs our streets, how agencies operate collaboratively in the public’s interest, and how residents will be empowered to advocate for safer and healthier streets.

I'm grateful to Council President Young, Councilman Pinkett, and our colleagues on the Council who backed me up and fought for this bill. I'm thankful to the Baltimore Complete Streets Coalition, especially Bikemore, Taffy Gwitira, Dr. Celeste Chavis, Jennifer White at the American Heart Association, LaKeisha Henderson, Ben Groff, and hundreds of community members who put in countless hours of work. I'm especially indebted to the District 3 Team who show up every day determined to make life just a little bit better for the people of this City.

To everyone in Baltimore who believes we can heal this City from within, that we can make changes to policy that challenge structural inequity, and that we are better off when we put the health and safety of people first, this victory is for you.


Complete Streets approved on Second Reader, and moves to Third Reader

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Baltimore City Council approved the Complete Streets bill (Council Bill 17-0102) on Second Reader today. Second reader incorporates amendments to the bill that were developed in work sessions and approved by the Land Use and Transportation Committee.

Second reader is a MAJOR step forward for the Complete Streets bill, showing that the City Council approves of the bill as amended and is ready to hold one final vote (Third Reader) on the bill, which, if approved, will then go to Mayor Pugh for signature.

Third Reader is scheduled for October 29, 2018. On the 29th, join the Baltimore Complete Streets Coalition at City Council Chambers to watch the Third Reader vote, and then join us for a Complete Streets celebration at Pen and Quill afterwards!

RSVP for the Complete Streets Meeting & Celebration

Amended Complete Streets bill voted out of committee

The Complete Streets Ordinance was voted out of committee on Wednesday, October 10th with favorable amendments to the bill. We are pleased with the outcome of the many meetings with DOT, the Administration, and incredible indebted to Council President, Benard C. “Jack” Young, Councilman Pinkett and Councilman Reisinger for their support. The Ordinance will receive a favorable report as a Second Reading at the City Council meeting on Monday, October 15, 2018.

Complete Streets Hearing at Land Use and Transportation Committee Set for April 25, 2018

The first public hearing (rescheduled due to snow) is next week!

It will be held in Council Chambers on Wednesday, April 25th at 5:00pm. It will also be televised live on CharmTV.

The new equity focused bill prioritizes the safety of all people using streets over the speed of moving cars, and this is the first opportunity to provide public comment on the record. 

Now is the time!

Send your comments to City Council using our easy form! 

And if you've already done that, attend the hearing on April 25

Coalition Presents at Intersections 2018

Recently recognized as one of the 12 best complete streets initiatives for 2017 by the National Complete Streets Coalition, the Baltimore Complete Streets team headed to Nashville in early April to Intersections 2018, the National Complete Streets Coalition conference, in order present on the equity and engagement components of our ordinance and focus on the challenges and opportunities in building a diverse coalition around Complete Streets. 

Here's a recording of the presentation:

And here's the full presentation:

Policy Recognized Nationally as one of 12 Best Complete Streets Initiatives

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The National Complete Streets Coalition, a program of Smart Growth America, has recognized Councilman Ryan Dorsey’s new Complete Streets Bill as one of the 12 best Complete Streets initiatives of 2017.

The bill, drafted by Councilman Ryan Dorsey and advocacy organization Bikemore, prioritizes the safety of all people using Baltimore’s streets over the speed of moving cars.  Complete Streets often have slower speed limits, wide sidewalks and crosswalks, protected bike lanes, bus lanes and shelters, and beautification like trees and plantings. The Baltimore bill also contains several equity-focused provisions intended to address the disparities created by decades of structurally racist and car-oriented road design.

“Passing a comprehensive Complete Streets policy that centers equity is a key component Bikemore’s strategy,” says Bikemore Executive Director Liz Cornish. “Complete Streets is about so much more than bikes, and it’s past time we as a city commit to a policy that improves the health, safety, and mobility of all Baltimore residents. We are honored to have our work recognized by Smart Growth America, even as we recognize that work is just really beginning.”

Smart Growth America recognized Baltimore’s new policy for its focus on equity, implementation and accountability. “After scoring and rating America’s best complete policies for more than five years, we revised our criteria this year to reflect new lessons, particularly the importance of focusing on implementation and equity. We are impressed with the work Councilman Dorsey and Bikemore have done and are happy to feature the Baltimore bill as a leader in these emerging focus areas,” said Emiko Atherton, Director of the National Complete Streets Coalition (a program of Smart Growth America).

Currently, Baltimore City has a Complete Streets resolution, passed in 2010, but that resolution non-binding and is often ignored. Beginning early in 2017, Councilman Dorsey and Bikemore began work building a coalition around Complete Streets, visiting with more than 50 neighborhood groups, and local, state, and national advocacy groups to discuss Complete Streets. The Bill’s first hearing, planned for the Land Use and Transportation Committee hearing on March 21, was cancelled due to snow and has been rescheduled tentatively for April 25 at 5:00PM. The hearing will be televised on Charm TV.

“If we truly wish to improve quality of life for all City residents, we need policies that prioritize disinvested communities and fundamentally change how we engage residents in the transportation planning process,” says Councilman Dorsey. “I’m happy that our work in Baltimore is being recognized. We are proud of it and look forward to working with Mayor Pugh, Council President Young, and my colleagues on the Council to pass and implement Complete Streets. However, legislation is just a start.”

“The real work of getting this bill passed is just beginning. Communities need to have ownership over the legislative process,” Dorsey continued, “for us that means conducting our own outreach with communities that are most directly affected by transportation disparities.”

In addition to being recognized by Smart Growth America, the Baltimore Complete Streets team was selected to present at the National Complete Streets Coalition’s second annual conference, called Intersections: Creating Culturally Complete Streets in Nashville, TN on April 3-4.

First Hearing Announced

The first Baltimore City Council Land Use and Transportation Committee hearing for the Complete Streets ordinance will be held on Wednesday, March 21st at 1:00pm at Baltimore City Hall. If you would like to attend in person, please bring a photo ID to city hall.

Please voice your support by sending an email today!

This will be the first major hearing for this bill. Subsequent work sessions will be announced. This is your chance to speak early in the bill process and ensure your comments are incorporated into amendments and revisions to the bill before passage.

Complete Streets Ordinance Introduced

At tonight’s Baltimore City Council meeting, Councilman Ryan Dorsey will introduced our Complete Streets ordinance. Complete Streets are streets designed to prioritize the safety of all people using the street over the speed of moving cars. This legislation was a priority for Bikemore and a strong part of Councilman Dorsey’s campaign platform.

This will be the first Complete Streets ordinance in the country that is centered around equity — in a deliberate attempt to begin to undo decades of structurally racist planning that has promoted car commuting from surrounding counties over mobility for city residents. 

Over the past year, we have been building a broad coalition supporting Complete Streets. We’ve met with and are proud to have support from a host of community groups, including CASA de Maryland, No Boundaries Coalition, Old Goucher Community Association, and Original Northwood Association. Statewide organizations like Maryland Builders Industry Association have signed on. And, we have national support from groups like the AARP and Safe Routes to School, who recognize the importance of complete streets to aging in place and getting our kids to school. To date, we've met with more than two dozen community associations, a dozen trade groups, national advocacy partners, and key city agencies.

We plan to take our time stewarding this bill toward passage. There will be multiple public work sessions on the legislation, and we will continue our neighborhood tours introducing Complete Streets to residents across the city. Our coalition will grow, and we want your support.