[HISTORY; Adopted by the Board of Selectmen of the Town of Middleton 11-18-2014. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Complete streets are designed and operated to provide safety, comfort, and accessibility for all the users of our streets, including pedestrians, bicyclists, transit riders, motorists, commercial vehicles, and emergency vehicles and for people of all ages, abilities, and income levels. Furthermore, complete streets principles contribute toward the safety, health, economic viability, and quality of life in a community by improving the pedestrian and vehicular environments in order to provide, safe, accessible, and comfortable means of travel between home, school, work, recreation, and retail destinations. Complete streets also further equity objectives by providing safe forms of travel for Middleton residents of all income levels. The purpose of the Town of Middleton's Complete Streets Policy, therefore, is to accommodate all road users by creating a roadway network that meets the needs of individuals utilizing a variety of transportation modes. It is the intent of the Town of Middleton to formalize the plan, design, operation, and maintenance of streets so that they are safe for users of all ages, all abilities and all income levels as a matter of routine. This policy directs decisionmakers to consistently plan, design, construct, and maintain streets to accommodate all anticipated users, including, but not limited to, pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, emergency vehicles, and freight and commercial vehicles.
The Town of Middleton recognizes that users of various modes of transportation, including, but not limited to, pedestrians, cyclists, transit and school bus riders, motorists, delivery and service personnel, freight haulers, and emergency responders are legitimate users of roadways and deserve safe facilities. "All users" includes users of all ages, abilities, and income levels.
The Town recognizes that all roadway projects, including new construction, maintenance and reconstruction, are potential opportunities to apply complete streets design principles. The Town will, to the maximum extent practical, design, construct, maintain, and operate all streets to provide for a comprehensive and integrated street network of facilities for people of all ages and abilities.
Complete streets design recommendations shall be incorporated into all publicly and privately funded projects, as appropriate. All transportation infrastructure and street design projects requiring funding or approval by the Town of Middleton, as well as projects funded by the state and federal governments, including but not limited to Chapter 90 funds, Town improvement grants, Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), the MassWorks Infrastructure Program, Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), Capital Funding, and other state and federal funds for street and infrastructure design shall adhere to the Town of Middleton Complete Streets Policy. Private developments and related roadway design components shall adhere to the complete streets principles. In addition, to the extent practical, state-owned roadways will comply with the Complete Streets Policy, including the design, construction, and maintenance of such roadways within Town boundaries.
Town departments, in consultation with a Complete Streets Committee (described below), will use best judgment regarding the desirability and feasibility of applying complete streets principles for routine roadway maintenance and projects, such as repaving, restriping, and so forth.
Transportation infrastructure projects, including but not limited to roadway reconstruction, roadway reconfigurations, or subdivisions, may be excluded upon approval by the Complete Streets Committee and the Board of Selectmen, where documentation and data indicate that any of the following apply:
Roadways where specific users are prohibited by law, such as interstate freeways or pedestrian malls. An effort will be made, in these cases, for accommodations elsewhere.
Cost or impacts of accommodation are excessively disproportionate to the need or probable future use.
Other Town policies, regulations, or requirements contradict or preclude implementation of complete streets principles.
The Town of Middleton Complete Streets Policy will focus on developing a connected, integrated network that serves all road users. Complete streets will be integrated into policies, planning, and design of all types of public and private projects, including new construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, repair, and maintenance of transportation facilities on streets and redevelopment projects. As practicable, recommendations from the Complete Streets Committee for incorporating complete streets elements will occur in projects' beginning stages prior to design.
Implementation of the Town of Middleton Complete Streets Policy will be carried out cooperatively within all relevant departments in the Town and, to the greatest extent possible, among private developers, and state, regional, and federal agencies.
Complete streets principles include the development and implementation of projects in a context-sensitive manner in which project implementation is sensitive to the community's physical, economic, and social setting. The context-sensitive approach to process and design includes a range of goals by giving significant consideration to stakeholder and community values. It includes goals related to livability with greater participation of those affected in order to gain project consensus. The overall goal of this approach is to preserve and enhance scenic, aesthetic, historical, and environmental resources while improving or maintaining safety, mobility, and infrastructure conditions.
The Town of Middleton recognizes that "complete streets" may be achieved through single elements incorporated into a particular project or incrementally through a series of smaller improvements or maintenance activities over time.
The latest design guidance, standards, and recommendations available will be used in the implementation of complete streets, including but not limited to the most up-to-date versions of:
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation Project Design and Development Guidebook.
Pioneer Valley Planning Commission's Healthy Community Design Toolkit.
The latest edition of American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO) A Policy on Geometric Design of Highway and Streets.
The United States Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration's Manual on Uniform Traffic Design Controls.
The Architectural Access Board (AAB) 521 CMR Rules and Regulations.
Documents and plans created for the Town of Middleton, including the 1999 Master Plan, the 2013 Open Space and Recreation Plan, and the 2014 Sidewalk Improvement Policy.
A Complete Streets Committee comprised of stakeholders, including members of relevant Town departments will be created to implement this initiative. The Complete Streets Committee will be a multidisciplinary team and members will include representation from: Department of Public Works (DPW), Board of Health, Planning, Inspection Department, Town Administrator's office and other committees, departments or organizations as appropriate. The focus of this Committee will be ensuring the implementation of the Complete Streets Policy and, where necessary, altering existing practices and overcoming barriers that may act as impediments to implementation. In addition, this Committee will regularly update and solicit feedback on potential projects with the general public to ensure that the perspectives of the community are considered and incorporated, as appropriate.
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, with input from the Complete Streets Committee, shall review and either revise or develop proposed revisions to all appropriate planning documents (master plans, open space and recreation plan, etc.), zoning and subdivision codes, laws, procedures, rules, regulations, guidelines, programs, and templates to integrate complete streets principles in all street projects on streets.
The Town shall maintain a comprehensive inventory of pedestrian and bicycle facility infrastructure that will highlight projects that eliminate gaps in the sidewalk and bikeway network.
The Town will evaluate projects within the Capital Improvement Plan to encourage implementation of this policy.
The Town will secure training for pertinent Town staff and decision-makers on both the technical content of complete streets principles and best practices, as well as community engagement methods for implementing the Complete Streets Policy. Training may be accomplished through workshops and other appropriate means.
The Town will utilize interdepartment coordination to promote the most responsible and efficient use of resources for activities within the public way.
The Town will seek out appropriate sources of funding and grants for implementation of complete streets policies.
The Complete Streets Committee will develop performance measures to periodically assess the rate, success, and effectiveness of implementing the Complete Streets Policy. The Committee will determine the frequency of assessment and utilize appropriate metrics for analyzing the success of this policy. These metrics may include the total number of new bicycle lanes, the linear feet of new pedestrian accommodation, number of retrofitted pedestrian facilities or amenities, number of intersection improvements made to improve level of service (LOS) and safety for vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists, rate of crashes by mode, rate of children walking or bicycling to school, and/or number of trips by mode.