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Hawai'i Complete Streets Policy

Underlying Theory/Evidence

Strategies Used1: Complete Streets policy is based on the following evidence-based strategies related to physical activity:

  • Active transportation The promotion of active transport as policy is a promising strategy for increasing physical activity.  The modification of road and highway standards and changes to the physical environment, such as requiring bike lanes and sidewalks, supports individuals and families to increase their physical activity.  Transportation policies are more effective when used in combination with other strategies for increasing physical activity, including urban planning and policy (e.g., ensuring walking and biking trails are safe and viable alternatives to driving), mass media campaigns (e.g., promotion of alternative forms of transport), and economic incentives (e.g. financial incentives for car or van pools).  Transportation policy’s evidence of effectiveness to increase physical activity is limited, but one reason for this is the lack of evaluated transportation policy interventions.
  • Urban design and policy zoning to facilitate physical activity Urban planning and policy strategies for increasing physical activity include both community-scale urban planning and policy approaches and street-scale urban design. Kauai County’s efforts to implement Complete Streets policy provide excellent examples of both community-scale and street-scale urban planning and design.  Community-scale urban planning and policy strategies include: zoning regulations, building codes, permitting policies, land use regulations, and growth and development standards.  Street-scale urban planning and policy development strategies generally focus on particular neighborhoods. Common components of street-scale urban design include traffic control measures, sidewalk continuity, and safety enforcement, e.g., improved street crossing signals.  

Policy Evaluation

Dr. Jay Maddock of the University of Hawaii at Manoa is charged with evaluating the implementation of state-level complete streets policy.

Environmental change: From April to July 2010, Dr. Maddock and his team completed a baseline surveillance survey to assess the walkability and bikeability of roads in Hawaii using the Pedestrian Environmental Data Scan (PEDS) tool.  This study offers baseline results against which future studies will systematically measure the impact of compete streets policy on actual changes at the street-segment level.

Behavioral change: Dr. Maddock and his team conduct a survey annually to document walking and biking behaviors in approximately 3,600 people surveyed by random digit dial.  Data from 2009 and 2010 represent baseline and preliminary data points and are presented in the table below. Dr. Maddock estimates that at least five years of data will be needed to demonstrate behavior change attributable to the passage of complete streets policy.

Baseline data

Question: How do you usually get to work?

 

2009

2010

 

Frequency

Percentage

Frequency

Percentage

Drive/carpool

2818

88.7

2446

80.6

Bus

161

5.1

291

9.6

Walk

141

4.4

235

7.8

Bicycle

58

1.8

63

2.1

Question: On a typical school day, how do your children get to school?

Take the bus

331

16.0

293

18.2

Driven in  a car/truck/van

1370

66.1

1032

64.1

Walk

298

14.4

204

12.6

Bike

19

0.9

22

1.4

Other non-motorized transportation

4

0.2

16

1.0

Home schooled

49

2.4

39

2.4

No children in school/Does not apply

2

0.1

6

0.4

Question: How safe from traffic do you feel while you are walking or riding your bike in your neighborhood?

Extremely safe

488

26.1

502

27.3

Quite safe

682

36.4

695

37.8

Slightly safe

462

24.6

426

23.2

Not safe at all

241

12.9

216

11.7

Data collection instruments and the results paper of the environmental study, A State-Wide Observational Assessment of the Pedestrian and Cycling Environment can be found in the Intervention Materials section.



1 A full description of the intervention strategies used can be found here with references to the sources of evidence to support the strategies.