Maintenance Practices for Complete Streets

In Washington, the state’s Complete Streets directive requires that certain projects be built, operated, and maintained to enable safe and convenient access to destinations for all people, including pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit riders. In response, the state is filling in the transportation network with construction of shared-use paths, sidewalks, and protected bicycle lanes. Lateral separation from motor vehicle traffic may be necessary and supplemented with vegetation, raised curb buffers, traffic barriers, or other features.  These types of facilities have maintenance needs that may differ from those of motor vehicle lanes, such as specific needs for debris removal, snow clearing, or maintenance of vegetation. To help WSDOT in most effectively designing and building Complete Street facilities, this project is determining the most critical active transportation facility issues that WSDOT maintenance staff will face. Such issues may include how maintenance considerations affect the selection of design and materials, which active transportation facility design best practices can simplify maintenance, and the equipment and labor needs for active transportation facility maintenance. To find answers the researchers will interview WSDOT maintenance staff as well as national complete street experts who have experience with different kinds of settings, environments, and active transportation. The result will be recommendations on best practices for the maintenance of complete streets.

Principal Investigator: Don MacKenzie, Civil and Environmental Engineering, UW
Sponsor: WSDOT
WSDOT Technical Monitor: Ursula Sandstrom
WSDOT Project Manager: Jon Peterson
Scheduled completion: September 2024