EMERGENCY INFORMATION FDOT Emergency Travel Alert:  For information on the current situation, please visit the following page - Alerts.

COMPLETE STREETS Implementation

On this site, we have listed our frequently asked questions (FAQ) recently received from our Customers.  If there is no FAQ that answers a specific question, please email Dewayne.Carver@dot.state.fl.us directly.

 

Where is FDOT's Complete Streets process right now?
When will the Complete Streets changes be finished?
What can be done to get Complete Streets today?
How do we get Complete Streets on non-state roadways?
My community wants to support Complete Streets. How do we start?
How does Complete Streets relate to bicycle/transit/multimodal planning?
Are FDOT's "context zones" the same as "transects"?
When will the Complete Streets Handbook be available to the public?
What are the FDOT context classifications and how are they used?
Who will determine the FDOT context classification?
When and how will the FDOT context classification be determined?
How does the Complete Streets planning and design approach apply to Strategic Intermodal System (SIS) facilities?
How does the Complete Streets planning and design approach influence funding?
What happens before the Complete Streets Handbook is released and a context based FDOT Design Manual is created?
How does a community coordinate with FDOT before projects are identified?
How does a community request a reconsideration of the context classification if they disagree with the decision?
Will there be workshops my District once the Handbook is distributed?
What does "flexibility" mean for Complete Streets?
How does Complete Streets coincide with our freight plan and initiatives?
 
Where is FDOT's Complete Streets process right now?

FDOT is following the [Complete Streets Implementation Timeline] of deliverables for Complete Streets Implementation. When revisions or new documents are produced, they are uploaded to the Complete Streets website at: [www.FLcompletestreets.com] [back]

 

When will the Complete Streets changes be finished?

The new Complete Streets Handbook will be released in the Spring of 2017. The new FDOT Design Manual (replacing the Plans Preparation Manual) will be released in December 2017. Other documents will be released a little before or a little after these dates, per the [Complete Streets Implementation Timeline] [back]

 

What can be done to get Complete Streets today?

FDOT projects can use Chapter 21 of the [Plans Preparation Manual] to provide context-appropriate design in more urban areas, such as downtowns or urban neighborhoods. Also, Chapter 19 of the [Florida Greenbook] and the accompanying TND Handbook provide guidance for design in urban contexts. [back]

 

How do we get Complete Streets on non-state roadways?

Complete Streets does not describe a particular street design, but rather a process for designing streets to match their context. To have a "complete" street, you must first understand the context of the area. For rural and suburban areas, our existing guidance in Florida provides more or less "complete" streets. Urban conditions, however, may require additional design considerations. Chapter 21 of the [Plans Preparation Manual] and Chapter 19 of the [Florida Greenbook] provide guidance. You can also consider the [ITE/CNU Recommended Practice - Designing Walkable Urban Thoroughfares] for criteria for "complete" urban street designs. Many communities have adopted their own specialized criteria for "complete streets", but you must have a clear indication where these "complete streets" should be used. [back]

 

My community wants to support Complete Streets. How do we start?

Complete Streets is a way to think about and design context-sensitive roads. Your community will benefit from a clear vision and plan for indicating areas of walkability and urban development. Establishing this "context" will then allow "context-based" streets to support the desired community vision.

 
Ideally, the community vision will include a form-based classification of contexts. FDOT's [Context Zone Classifications] rely primarily on the physical characteristics of a place to determine context. Non-physical characteristics, such as zoning or future land use plans, are considered as secondary measures when the physical form today does not match the desired design of the roadway. Having a form-based coding system helps insure future physical form will match future desired context. [back]
 

How does Complete Streets relate to bicycle/transit/multimodal planning?

Complete Streets can be thought of as a lens for viewing projects in a particular way - matching design to context. It can be applied to any sort of transportation planning. Under a Complete Streets approach, transportation facilities will change their design to match the locations where they are found. This applies to bike and transit facilities as well as to roads and highways. Conventional bicycle and transit plans are still needed, but under a Complete Streets approach, these plans would recognize various context zones and provide designs to match those zones. [back]

 

Are FDOT's "context zones" the same as "Transects"?

Not exactly. FDOT's context zones and the New Urbanist Transect system are both methods of describing the form and context of a place through physical characteristics. The difference between them is the scale at which they are applied. The transect is suited for application to neighborhood and town-scale development, but is not well-suited for regional or larger scales. Because FDOT has to provide for statewide design of transportation facilities, our context zones can be applied at regional and larger scales, but may be less-specific than the transect at the local street level.


Another difference is the types of areas included. The transect is focused exclusively on defining areas for walkability, and suburban "sprawl" development is not coded or accounted for in the transect system. Transect Zone 3 (T3) Sub-urban describes walkable street-car suburbs in an edge condition to areas of higher walkability, NOT conventional Sub-urban development. FDOT, however, cannot overlook these areas, so Context Zone 3 (C3) on our system describes conventional suburban development. Under the FDOT system, the T3 transect would code to the C4 General Urban context zone.


If your community uses transect-based planning or coding, be sure to adjust for this when translating your area into FDOT's context zones. [back]
 

When will the Complete Streets Handbook be available to the public?

The Complete Streets Handbook will be available for review in April 2017.


The Handbook is being reviewed and revised within FDOT now. The current plan is to make the Handbook available for review by partner agencies and the public at-large in April 2017. The final version will be released in June 2017. [back]

 

What are the FDOT context classifications and how are they used?

What: The FDOT context classifications are a framework for transportation planning that provides enough flexibility to make each project look like it belongs in the location it will go, while also providing enough guidelines to make sure the project will be safe and effective. Florida's environment is divided into eight classifications ranging from a completely natural environment without buildings to a dense urban downtown. The classifications are similar to SmartCode form-based code (a new kind of land use zoning), transects and context zones.


Under the Context Sensitive Solutions label, FDOT has for many years allowed flexibility when planning projects on the State Highway System (SHS) so that the community's context would be reflected. Most recently, the Transportation Solutions that Support Quality Places to Live, Learn, Work, and Play goal of the 2016 Florida Transportation Plan has a specific objective about creating transportation systems that reflect community values, visions, and needs.


To be more systematic in supporting this flexibility, FDOT has adopted a Complete Streets approach to planning and design. We have eight classifications:

 

   

C1-Natural

Lands preserved in a natural or wilderness condition, including lands unsuitable for settlement due to natural conditions

 

   

C2-Rural

Sparsely settled lands; may include agricultural land, grassland, woodland, and wetlands

 

   

C2T-Rural Town

Small concentrations of developed areas immediately surrounded by rural and natural areas; includes many historic towns

 

   

C3R-Suburban Residential

Mostly residential uses within large blocks and a disconnected/sparse roadway network

 

   

C3C-Suburban Commercial

Mostly non-residential uses with large building footprints and large parking lots. Buildings are within large blocks and a disconnected/sparse roadway network

 

   

C4-Urban

General Mix of uses set within small blocks with a well-connected roadway network. May extend long distances. The roadway network usually connects to residential neighborhoods immediately along the corridor and/or behind the uses fronting the roadway

 

   

C5-Urban Center

Mix of uses set within small blocks with a well-connected roadway network. Typically concentrated around a few blocks and identified as part of the community, town, or city of a civic or economic center

 

   

C6-Urban Core

Areas with the highest densities and with building heights within FDOT classified Large Urbanized Areas (population >1,000,000). Many are regional centers and destinations. Buildings have mixed uses, are built up to the roadway, and are within a well-connected roadway network
       

Graphic representation of the Proposed Land Context Classification System is now available

 

How: The FDOT context classifications are officially assigned at the project scoping phase. After looking at the current and future community's environment to determine the context classification, the planner will choose transportation elements that fit within the parameters of that classification.

 
The FDOT context classification and transportation characteristics, such as the road's functional class, will be used together when applying Complete Streets planning or design considerations. The details are currently being prepared as part of FDOT Design Manual updates.
[back]
 

Who will determine the FDOT context classification?

FDOT will have the final determination of the context classification to be used for state transportation projects (i.e., for roads on the State Highway System (SHS), including the Strategic Intermodal System (SIS)).


The measures that will be used to determine the context can be based on existing development patterns or future visions of the community. Collaboration with the local and regional agencies and governments associated with the project is important. In an ideal situation, a future vision for an area or corridor will be documented and approved by the community's governing body, such as in its comprehensive plan and land development codes. Community redevelopment area master plans or sector plans are other possible examples. [back]

 

When and how will the FDOT context classification be determined?

When: The FDOT context for state projects will be determined as early as possible in the planning, design, and maintenance cycle.

 
In fact, a District could decide to proactively determine the context for all state facilities, or all facilities in a specific area (e.g., an urbanized area). At any point, a District is able to collaborate with a community to identify a road's context. (Note: Interstates and limited access facilities are considered "complete" given their transportation purposes.)


How: Each FDOT District will decide how best to incorporate a Complete Streets planning and design approach in its processes given some common elements. For example, some Districts have scoping teams and tools to identify and tag projects for increased community collaboration and flexibility.


There will be Complete Streets related actions to take during project planning, programming, design, and maintenance. To address new, longer term projects identified as part of the MPO long range planning process, Districts will identify the context classification of state projects during the environmental screening stage and collaborate with affected local governments as part of Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) preparation, or ad hoc, if need be. For new projects (planning, design, and maintenance) being programmed as part of the annual work program process (i.e., the new fifth year), the context will be determined and used to influence the work effort. As appropriate and feasible, a Complete Streets approach will be used for planning and design of projects already programmed. For state projects, the project manager (or designee, such as a scoping team member, growth management liaison, or MPO liaison) is responsible for coordinating with affected local and regional governments and agencies during the determination of the context classification. [back]

 

How does the Complete Streets planning and design approach apply to Strategic Intermodal System (SIS) facilities?

FDOT will look to retain SIS functionality as part of the Complete Streets approach with more flexibility than in the past. Multiple partners working collaboratively to find solutions is key with the Complete Streets approach, whether for a SIS facility, or state or local road.


The SIS is composed of facilities of statewide and regional significance with the objective of supporting interregional connectivity, intermodal connectivity, and economic development. To local communities, a SIS facility can serve as a corridor connecting communities or may be a main street for a town.


A Complete Streets planning and design approach is rooted in balancing needs and conditions to achieve multiple outcomes as best as possible. For example, some Districts have worked with communities to shift SIS corridors to avoid main street areas and have designated alternate SIS routes or connectors to support interregional travel and local needs simultaneously.

 
Note: Exceptions may apply when timing is critical, such as for emergency repair projects. [back]

 

How does the Complete Streets planning and design approach influence funding?

FDOT will continue to use the same funding categories (federal, state, and local funds) with the Complete Streets planning and design approach.


Context classification allows FDOT greater flexibility in designs and the complete street approach helps match roads to their locations. We want to "put the right road in the right place." But FDOT will still have to use the same funding categories as today. To make best use of these opportunities, we need to plan more carefully for what we want, and where, and line up the appropriate funding to make it happen. There is no new funding, but FDOT has the chance to use our old funding sources in more specific ways than before, by understanding place better than we have before. This also means we will continue to rely on local partners to provide enhancements in designs that traditional funding sources may not support (e.g., decorative lighting, or patterned facilities).  [back]

 

What happens before the Complete Streets Handbook is released and a context based FDOT Design Manual is created?

Although the Handbook and associated FDOT Design Manual are not yet released, FDOT is incorporating the Complete Streets planning and design approach in existing state projects and will continue to do so.


Communities can reach out to FDOT project managers and initiate the collaboration process that can lead to incorporating flexibility into plans and designs. The released Handbook will provide the context language and direction for a more consistent application of a Complete Streets planning and design approach. Similarly, FDOT Design Manual updates will support flexibility and tradeoff decisions that must be considered when delving more deeply into local conditions. [back]

 

How does a community coordinate with FDOT before projects are identified?

Communities are encouraged to reach out to their district FDOT staff to coordinate with FDOT before projects are identified. A community's district FDOT staff contact could be a: Complete Streets coordinator, bike/pedestrian coordinator, safety specialist, metropolitan planning organization (MPO) liaison, or growth management coordinator.


Communities are encouraged to reach out any district FDOT staff. Each District will address community collaboration differently. For some of the more urban Districts, Complete Streets coordinators are designated. Other Districts will rely on bike/ped coordinators, safety specialists, MPO liaisons, or growth management coordinators. A community is encouraged to reach out to any of these parties who will assist in directing the request appropriately. A District is able to collaborate with a community to identify a road's context at any time. [back]

 

How does a community request a reconsideration of the context classification if they disagree with the decision?

If a community determines their needs are not accommodated, they may petition the manager of the project. (A District may set up another mechanism for reaching consensus with a community.) [back]

 

Will there be workshops my District once the Handbook is distributed?

This is up to each District to determine. Check with your District contacts. [back]

 

What does "flexibility" mean for Complete Streets?

For design criteria, flexibility means greater opportunity to use the AASHTO minimum criteria in the more urban contexts (C4-C6, and C2T.) The criteria will be contained in the FDM and will reflect the AASHTO criteria in many instances. The districts will have the flexibility to use design criteria that more closely match the context. [back]

 

How does Complete Streets coincide with our freight plan and initiatives?

Freight has been a critical part of Complete Streets since the very beginning of the Department's efforts. Freight plans and needs will continue to be assessed as they are today, but Complete Streets will allow more opportunities to interact with Freight earlier in the planning and design process to balance the needs of our various roadways users in a context-appropriate way. An new effort to revise FDOT District 7's Freight Roadway Design Considerations document for statewide use is now underway, and there is close collaboration between Freight and Complete Streets to ensure compatibility as we continue. [back]