The City of Bellingham's Alabama Street Multimodal Safety Improvements project, completed in 2015 after a three-year transportation planning process, has earned the national 2016 Best Complete Streets Project Award from the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE.)
This national award recognizes the innovative and outstanding efforts of cities that apply innovative design solutions that incorporate all modes of transportation, consistent with the principals of the national "Complete Streets" movement. The award will be presented to City staff on August 15 at the ITE national conference in California.
Criteria for the award included:
- Accommodate all modes in a community-driven process for tradeoff decision-making;
- Set and measure multimodal performance goals;
- Effectively collaborate with a broad stakeholder base to win project support;
- Secure funding for project implementation; and
- Document economic benefits.
According to Bellingham Transportation Planner Chris Comeau, the Alabama Street safety project demonstrated innovation and excellence in all criteria and can be a model for other communities.
"This complex project successfully implemented and wove together Bellingham's Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plans, the transportation element of the Comprehensive Plan, Climate Action Plan, several Neighborhood Plans and the Whatcom Transportation Authority's (WTA) transit plan," said Comeau.
The primary goal of the Alabama Street project was to reduce the high number of vehicle collisions with a road diet, center turn lane, and access management with center curb median. Other important goals included: maintaining on-time performance for WTA transit busses; consolidating and relocating bus stops to coincide with pedestrian-activated crossing signals; reconnecting neighborhoods previously split by the corridor; upgrade of sidewalks, driveways, and curb ramps; and resurfacing the arterial street.
The transportation project has been featured in nationally broadcast webinars in June 2015 and March 2016 by the ITE Complete Streets Council and as the featured case study in the March 2016 issue of the national Institute of Transportation Engineers Journal (Vol. 86, No. 3, page 34.)