Senate Bill No. 158
(By Senators Beach and Stollings)
[Originating in the Committee on Government Organization;
reported March 21, 2013.]
A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new article, designated §17-4A-1, §17-4A-2 and §17-4A-3, all relating to creation of the Complete Streets Act; promoting consideration by the Division of Highways of complete streets policies for all streets, roads and highways and other transportation infrastructure facilities under the jurisdiction of the Division of Highways; providing for model complete streets policies for use by Division of Highways, counties and municipalities; providing instances when the Division of Highways need not consider complete street policies; creating a Complete Streets Advisory Board; providing for reimbursement of mileage expenses of board members; and requiring annual reports.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new article, designated §17-4A-1, §17-4A-2 and §17-4A-3, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 4A. COMPLETE STREETS ACT.
§17-4A-1. Complete Streets.
(a) Vehicular, public transportation, bicycle and pedestrian modes are integral to the transportation system of this state. The Division of Highways may view all transportation improvements as opportunities to improve safety, access and mobility for all travelers.
(b) All transportation projects receiving federal or state funds should strive to improve safety, access and mobility for users of all ages and abilities, defined to include pedestrians, bicyclists, public transportation vehicles and their passengers, motorists, movers of commercial goods, persons with disabilities, older adults and children.
(c) Accommodation of all users should be considered in the planning, design, construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, maintenance and operations of any state, county or local transportation facilities receiving funds from the Division of Highways. The Division of Highways is encouraged to create a safe, comprehensive, integrated and connected network to accommodate all users in a manner that is suitable to the rural, suburban or urban context.
(d) The Division of Highways is encouraged to use the latest and best design standards as they apply to bicycle, pedestrian, transit and highway facilities, which may include, but are not limited to, the latest editions of:
(1) A Policy on Geometric Design of Highways and Streets, from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials;
(2) Designing Walkable Urban Thoroughfares: A Context Sensitive Approach: An ITE Recommended Practice, from the Institute of Transportation Engineers;
(3) Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities, from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials;
(4) Guide for the Planning, Design and Operation of Pedestrian Facilities, from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials;
(5) Public Rights-of-Way Accessibility Guidelines, from the U. S. Access Board; and
(6) Other relevant federal, state or local guidance as appropriate.
(e) The Division of Highways may provide assistance to and coordinate with regional and local agencies in developing and implementing complementary complete streets policies. In the development of projects within municipal boundaries, the Division of Highways and municipality may share expertise in multimodal transportation planning.
(f) The Division of Highways is encouraged to modify its procedures, documents, training systems and performance measures in a timely manner to ensure the needs of all users of the transportation system are included in all phases of the projects. The Division of Highways is encouraged to create an implementation plan, including a schedule and a regional and local government and public outreach plan, in consultation with the advisory board as outlined in section three of this article.
(a) Accommodation of all users of a transportation facility need not be considered in the planning, designing, construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, maintenance or operations of any state, county or local transportation facilities receiving funds from the Division of Highways if the commissioner determines that:
(1) Use of a transportation facility by pedestrians, bicyclists or other users is prohibited by law;
(2) The cost of new accommodation would be disproportionate to the need or probable use;
(3) There is a demonstrated absence of future need as determined by factors such as current and future land use, current and projected user volumes, population density and crash data;
(4) The time-sensitive or expedited nature of the project would be adversely affected; or
(5) The project has already moved beyond the initial planning stage at the time this article goes into effect.
(b) The commissioner is encouraged to consult local and regional plans and leaders, as appropriate, in assessing exceptions.
(c) Documentation of any granted exceptions may be made publicly available and shared with the advisory board as established in section three of this article.
§17-4A-3. Complete Streets Advisory Board.
(a) A Complete Streets Advisory Board to the Division of Highways is established to:
(1) Provide and facilitate communication, education and advice between the Division of Highways, counties, municipalities, interest groups and the public;
(2) Make recommendations to the Division of Highways, counties and municipalities for restructuring procedures, updating design guidance, providing educational opportunities to employees and creating new measures to track the success of multimodal planning and design; and
(3) Submit to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance, through the Division of Highways, an annual report as outlined herein.
(b) The advisory board shall consist of sixteen members, designated as follows:
(1) The Commissioner of Highways or his or her designee;
(2) The Secretary of the Department of Transportation or his or her designee;
(3) The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources or his or her designee; and
(4) Thirteen members that serve at the will and pleasure of the Governor and appointed by the Governor as follows:
(A) One member who is a licensed engineer with expertise in transportation or civil engineering;
(B) One member representing the American Planning Association;
(C) One member representing a state association of counties;
(D) One member representing state association of municipalities;
(E) One member representing a major regional or local public transportation agency;
(F) One member representing a national association of retired persons;
(G) One member representing an organization interested in the promotion of bicycling;
(H) One member representing an organization interested in the promotion of walking and health;
(I) One member representing an organization representing persons with disabilities;
(J) One member representing an automobile and/or trucking organization; and
(K) Three members of the general public interested in promoting complete streets policies, one representing each congressional district, as determined by the Governor.
(c) The Commissioner of Highways shall serve as the first chair of the board. The board shall meet at least twice a year and at the call of the chair or a majority of the members. The members of the board shall annually elect one of its members to serve as chair after the first year.
(d) The initial terms of appointment for members appointed by the Governor shall be as follows: Three members appointed to a term of one year, three members appointed to a term of two years, three members appointed to a term of three years and four members appointed to a term of four years. Thereafter each member shall be appointed for four years. A member shall serve until his or her successor is appointed. In the case of a vacancy the appointee shall serve the remainder of the unexpired term. Members of the board may succeed themselves and shall serve without compensation. The members appointed by the Governor are entitled to be reimbursed in a manner consistent with the guidelines of the Travel Management Office of the Department of Administration for actual and necessary mileage expenses incurred while attending official meetings of the board.
(e) On December 1, 2013, and on December 1 every year thereafter, the board shall submit an annual report to the Governor, the Commissioner of Highways and the Joint Committee on Government and Finance on the status of implementation of section one of this article.
(1) The annual report shall include the following information:
(A) A summary of actions taken by the Division of Highways in the preceding year to improve the safety, access and mobility of roadways pursuant to section one of this article;
(B) Modifications made to or recommended for protocols, guidance, standards or other requirements to facilitate complete streets implementation;
(C) Status of the development of multimodal performance indicators;
(D) Any information obtained on the use made of bicycle, pedestrian, transit and highway facilities together with the existing target level of use for these modes, if any;
(E) Available crash statistics by mode, age, road type and location and other relevant factors; and
(F) Other related information that may be requested by the Governor or Legislature.
(2) The Division of Highways may assist the board in the preparation of the board’s annual report.