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Building upon the Successes of OBAG

Author: Bike East Bay

Date: November 3, 2015

On Wednesday, November 4 the Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s (MTC) Programming and Allocations Commission is scheduled to approve the second round of the One Bay Area Grant (OBAG) program. 

An important part of OBAG is its complete streets requirement which was crafted to comply with AB 1358, California’s Complete Streets Act of 2008. In order to be eligible for funding, jurisdictions were required to either pass a complete streets policy resolution with specified criteria or update their General Plan circulation element.

Over 90% of jurisdictions are now in compliance, and we believe that the MTC should take the next step, building upon the complete streets requirement in order to be able to meet key performance targets. An analysis of the health and safety performance targets (see below) from Plan Bay Area 2035 determined that most goals will be missed, and we believe that a stronger complete streets requirement could significantly improve the results. 

Bike East Bay crafted a letter with recommendations to ensure that Complete Streets policies are working to make positive impacts in the day to day lives of the region’s residents. 

Our recommendations for building upon the Complete Streets Requirement are two-fold:

  • Improve the Complete Streets checklist.
  • Initiate a Complete Streets implementation monitoring program/system.

We believe that these recommendations will act to help guide cities to plan and implement projects that meet the intent of the Complete Streets Program. The letter is signed by seven leading organizations working to promote the safety, efficiency and sustainability of our Bay Area streets for generations to come. 

Read Bike East Bay’s letter, signed by Bike Concord, California Walks, Safe Routes to School National Partnership, San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition and TransForm. 

Interested in hearing more? Consider attending the Programming and Allocations Meeting at 9:40am on Wednesday, November 4. We will report back on the discussion as well. 

Background Info

MTC’s OBAG home page

MTC’s Complete Streets home page

Routine accommodation guidance

Routine accommodation checklist

MTC’s routine accommodation guidance

Plan Bay Area – Final, Chapter 5: Performance

In the Plan Bay Area adopted on July 18, 2013, the performance analysis determined that many of the key targets relating to Complete Streets would miss the mark. Performance analysis predicted an increase of injuries and fatalities from all collisions by 18% from a target of 50% reduction (Target #4). 

Furthermore, the time Bay Area residents would spend walking or bicycling for transportation increased by just 1 minute over 35 years – a 17% increase from a target of 70% (Target #5). The Plan also missed targets to increase non-auto mode share, reduce VMT per capita, and clearly calls for MTC and ABAG to “focus future attention on conceptualizing breakthrough strategies to achieve the four targets”. 



Complete Streets ; implementation best practices – 2010 – Smart Growth America

Performance Measures for Complete, Green Streets – July 2009 – University of California Transportation Center

Evaluating Complete Streets: A guide for Practicitioners – April 2015 – Smart Growth Alliance

Evaluating the Impact of Complete Streets Initiatives  – 2014 – GOBike Buffalo

Evaluating Complete Streets The Value of Designing Roads For Diverse Modes, Users and Activities – August 2015 – Victoria Transportation Policy Institute


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