The Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC) Board of Road Commissioners, at its regular meeting today (Thursday, Sept. 27), accepted a set of Complete Streets guidelines intended to steer the agency in its efforts to apply complete streets concepts to county roads.
The guidelines were compiled by the RCOC Complete Streets Review Committee, which, in addition to RCOC staff, included a number of county and local officials, transportation experts and others. The committee created the guidelines over the last 15 months.
“We strongly support the concept of complete streets and the idea that public roads should be as safe and accessible as possible for all legal users,” stated ROCC Chairman Eric Wilson. “These guidelines represent our commitment to that philosophy.”
The guidelines were adopted unanimously by the three-member RCOC Board. Board Member Ron Fowkes served on the Complete Streets Review Committee.
“This was a very constructive process,” Fowkes said of the committee’s work. “The committee included a broad spectrum of opinions related to complete streets, and that diversity of opinion is reflected in the guidelines. This document will guide this agency’s approach to all road users as we move forward.”
The guidelines also acknowledge that the agency must operate with the resources available. “We are wholly committed to complete streets and to all road users,” stated RCOC Managing Director Dennis Kolar. “But, we also acknowledge that resources are scarce, and that we have to balance the needs of various user groups.”
He added that the process of creating the Complete Streets Guidelines has reinforced for RCOC the critical importance of the agency’s partners in these efforts. “This process reminded us that we must work closely with all of our partners,” Kolar said, “especially the communities, and that this collaboration must come as early as possible in the road-project selection and design processes.”
The guidelines review the numerous groups of legal road users and their needs and discuss how they might be accommodated while acknowledging that Michigan is in the midst of a road-funding crisis that makes it hard for road agencies to merely maintain the existing road system. The guidelines sum up this challenge as follows: “Complete streets implementation, as a component of an improved, well-functioning transportation system, has entered the depleted scene of transportation financing, where it must compete for limited funding. State and local leaders are challenged to think in new ways about how to plan and fund the infrastructure that will provide for the future economic growth of the area.”
Download the RCOC Complete Streets Guidelines (PDF)