AGENDA ITEM 5B
G:'J31enn Orlin, Deputy Council Administrator
Faden, Senior Legislative Attorney
Bill 33-13, Streets and Roads - Urban Road Standards and Pedestrian
recommendation: enact with amendments,
Bill 33-13, Streets and Roads - Urban Road Standards and Pedestrian Safety
Improvements, sponsored by Councilmembers Berliner and Riemer, was introduced on
December 10, 2013. As introduced, Bill 33-13 would limit the width of travel lanes, turning
lanes, and parking lanes, as well as the size of intersection curb radii in urban areas. The Bill
also would set target speeds at which vehicles should operate in specific contexts, to provide
both for mobility for motor vehicles and a safe environment for pedestrians and bicyclists.
The Bill would require certain road improvements to include a sufficient pedestrian
refuge area, direct developers building road improvements to add curb ramps where appropriate,
and require curb ramps to be built in accordance with federal ADA Best Practices.
The public hearing was held on January 23, 2014. The testimony and later correspondence
expressed general support for the Bill's objectives. However, testimony was divided between those
who advocated guidelines that would allow engineers to craft case-by-case solutions (see ©15-21),
and those who supported setting certain specific standards in the law and leaving the rest for the
guidelines (see ©22-33).
The Bill's co-sponsors convened a working group of staff from the
Council, the Planning Department, and the County Departments of Transportation (DOT), Fire
Rescue Service (MCFRS), and Permitting Services (DPS) (see co-sponsor's memo, ©34-35). The
group met 5 times in October and November, and was assisted by Toole Design, a planning
under contract to DOT which has considerable experience in the development of complete streets
standards and guidelines. From the outset, the group's purpose was to explore these issues in detail,
not necessarily to achieve consensus.