Richardson staff shared a proposed policy that could take the city to a higher level of recognition as a bike-friendly community.

The draft of the complete streets policy and progress report presented to Richardson City Council during a May 20 meeting listed short-term goals that could help the city reach silver-tier bicycle-friendly community status.

What you need to know

The complete streets policy would be used to help city staff design, build and maintain roadways that are accessible for all people regardless of the mode of transportation, Mobility and Special Projects Manager Daniel Herrig said. Although the policy would be new, he said city staff already incorporate some of the standards for road projects.

“Richardson has a deep history of commitment to multimodal transportation,” Herrig said. “Our sidewalk network is nearly built out, and our [sidewalk] gap is mostly in older neighborhoods or undeveloped tracts of land.”

According to the staff presentation, there are five guiding principles for the policy:
  • Serve all users and modes of transportation
  • Increase transportation and mobility options
  • Establish a connected multimodal transportation network
  • Coordinate land use and transportation
  • Enhance community and quality of life
The context

Herrig said the complete streets policy is one element of the city’s application for recognition as a bike-friendly community, which is due June 25.

Council previously approved elevating the status of the city’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, and named its resident appointees in early May. An active transportation plan, which includes short-, medium- and long-term goals for multimodal transit, was approved in February 2023, Herrig said.

He added that Richards was the first North Texas city recognized as a bronze-level bike-friendly community in 2015.

Digging deeper

A bicycle-friendly community is designated by the League of American Bicyclists and broken into five tiers:
  • Bronze
  • Silver
  • Gold
  • Diamond
  • Platinum
To make the jump from a bronze-level bicycle-friendly community, a city generally needs an active bicycle and pedestrian advisory committee, a higher percentage of the population commuting by bike and a bike network with mileage equivalent to 30% of its roadway mileage, according to data published by the League of American Bicyclists.

In total, there are 480 bicycle-friendly communities across the United States, according to the League of American Bicyclists.

What’s next?

Council members are expected to consider adoption of the complete streets policy during its June 3 meeting, according to city documents.

Herrig added that a bicycle parking ordinance—which is a short-term goal of the city's active transportation plan—is also in the works and could go before council in the future.