BKI developed and implemented a threefold strategy to assist LADOTD with fulfillment of a request by the legislature. Complete streets are roads that are designed and operated to enable safe access for all users of the transportation system. In response to Senate Concurrent Resolution 110 of the Louisiana legislature, LADOTD formed a work group to study the creation of a complete streets policy for Louisiana that would balance access, mobility, health and safety needs of motorists, transit users, bicyclists, and pedestrians of all ages and abilities.
The first part involved background research, education and capacity building of stakeholders. Representatives from LADOTD engaged in the process about what complete streets are, what a complete streets policy can do for the state, and addressed concerns and impediments to adoption.
The second part of the strategy was stakeholder engagement and consensus building, including the hosting and coordination of four work group meetings. All four meetings were interactive – involving participatory exercises and facilitation of participant input.
The third part of the strategy was outcome-oriented. It involved the development of the Complete Streets Policy for Louisiana, a process for adoption, and guidance on implementation actions and steps for the future. These items were compiled into a report for the Secretary of Transportation to present to the State Legislature for their consideration.
The complete streets policy was signed by the secretary of the LADOTD on July 18th, 2010. It is now part of the State Highway and Bridge Project Development process. The project was awarded 2011 Innovation for Sustaining Places, Best Practices by the APA, Louisiana Chapter.
In April 2011, the National Complete Streets Coalition evaluated complete streets policies from cities, counties, and states around the US. It ranked the Louisiana Complete Streets Policy as one of the top 15 in the nation.
Jefferson Parish Lakefront Linear Park Master Plan
BKI was selected by Jefferson Parish to develop a master plan for a continuous 10-mile bikeway and trail system along the southern shoreline of Lake Pontchartrain. Special challenges of this project included reducing maintenance costs, improving cyclist and pedestrian safety, and dealing with flood hazard conditions in the vulnerable shoreline area.
Working with a multi-jurisdictional task force, BKI created a plan that provided widened and safer path sections, separate biking and pedestrian traffic where possible, and raised path elevations to reduce the amount of maintenance and clean-up required following major storms. The plan featured 10’ bikeways and 6’ pedestrian paths, bridges at the mouth of a drainage canal, neighborhood parks and access routes at key nodes, improved directional and safety signage, and an overall landscape design along the path to transform the area into a true park environment. Other features included shoreline reconstruction and the provision of benches, shelters, and tables.
The total estimated cost of all master plan improvements was $13.5 million. The plan was implemented in phases.
City of Kenner Linear Park Bicycle & Pedestrian Path
BKI was selected by the City of Kenner to design a one-mile path to the Williams Boulevard recreational area from adjacent neighborhoods and parks.
The design of the bicycle and pedestrian pathway used concepts outlined in the Jefferson Lakefront Linear Park Master Plan. The drawings included recommendations for the siting of elements that could be constructed later, including landscaping and neighborhood recreation areas with shelters, play areas, and benches. BKI also prepared cost estimates for bidding and funding purposes. BKI sited and aligned the path between the Williams Boulevard Recreational Area and the Metairie/Kenner city line using AASHTO guidelines. The path was relocated above Lake Pontchartrain’s highest annual tides and typical flood elevations.
BKI coordinated the design and construction process with several agencies, including Jefferson Parish, Louisiana Department of Transportation & Development and the City of Kenner. BKI was also involved with the coordination and application process for TEA-21 Enhancement Funds.