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Pierce County passes complete streets ordinance

Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 7.49.11 AMFrom now on, whenever Pierce County plans major road work the planners will need to consider the needs of all road users.

Earlier this month, the Pierce County Council adopted a complete streets ordinance that “promotes roadways that are safe and convenient for those of all ages and abilities, including pedestrians, bicyclists, transit riders, and motor vehicle drivers.”

Washington Bikes praised the ordinance, which has been at least half a decade in the making. Pierce County joins many other communities in the Puget Sound region and across the nation in officially requiring that future transportation investments do not repeat the same street design mistakes of the past when the mobility and safety of people outside motor vehicles was not always considered.

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From BikeWA:

The movement for Complete Streets in Pierce County began in 2007 when the Tacoma-Pierce County Board of Health endorsed a policy that supported the adoption and implementation of Complete Streets policies by local municipalities. The Coalition for Active Transportation and other community groups have worked in earnest for the past couple of years for the passage of a county ordinance.

The State of Washington established a Complete Streets Program under WSDOT in 2011 that currently remains unfunded.

The following Washington municipalities have adopted some form of Complete Streets policy:

Airway Heights
Federal Way
Moses Lake
Mountlake Terrace
Ocean Shores
Pierce County
Sedro Woolley
University Place
White Salmon

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5 responses to “Pierce County passes complete streets ordinance”

  1. Gary

    Well making it a law helps, but as usual, until the asphalt meets the dirt, vigilance is required. But it seems like the tide is turning toward making bicycling a viable alternative in this state.

  2. Aaron

    This is nice and all, but as long as land use policy is built around moving and storing cars we’re just going to continue to end up with mini-highways with four 12′ travel lanes plus a turn lane, except now we’ll get bike lanes and sidewalks tacked on the edges. Whoop dee doo.

    This is a step in the right direction, but we’re so far away from where we should be we’ll need to do a full-on sprint before we see a real transformation for the better.

    1. Richard

      “…except now we’ll get bike lanes and sidewalks tacked on the edges.” — sometimes. We didn’t even get that much on 23rd/24th Ave.

  3. asdf2

    Maybe they’ll take the Houston approach and slap down yellow “bike route” signs on a shoulder-less 6-lane arterial and call it a bike facility. It makes for a lot of pretty lines on the map.

  4. xxxx

    The text below is excerpted from the current version (2016/2017) of the Pierce County Code Chapter 8.72. My purpose is to make people aware that the laws stated here actually are the current law in Pierce County, in the state of Washington. It seems there is a lack of awareness of these laws.

    8.72.040 Mufflers. It is unlawful for any person to operate, or for any owner to permit any person to operate, any motor vehicle or motorcycle upon the public highways which is not equipped with a muffler in good working order and in constant operation.
    8.72.070 Exhaust System. It shall be unlawful for any person to operate any motor vehicle upon any public highway if the vehicle exhaust system exceeds the maximum permissible sound levels set forth below for the category of vehicle, as measured at a distance of twenty inches (0.5 meter) from the exhaust outlet under procedures established by the State of Washington in Washington Administrative Code Chapter 173-58-080, “Close Proximity Exhaust System Sound Level Measurement Procedure.” Motorcycles 99 dB(A)/Automobiles, light trucks, and all other motor vehicles 10,000 pounds or less 95 dB(A).
    8.72.090 Public Disturbance Noises. It is unlawful for any person to cause, or for any person in possession of property to allow to originate from the property, a public disturbance noise. The following sounds are public disturbance noises:…
    C. Frequent, repetitive, or continuous sounds from starting, operating, repairing, rebuilding, or testing of any motor vehicle, motorcycle, dirt bike, or other off-highway vehicle, or any internal combustion engine, within a rural or residential district, including vacant property adjacent thereto, so as to unreasonably disturb or interfere with the peace, comfort, and repose of owners or possessors of real property…
    F. Any loud and raucous sound made by use of a musical instrument, whistle, sound amplifier, or other device capable of producing or reproducing sound which emanates frequently, repetitively, or continuously from any building, structure or property, such as sound originating from a band session, tavern operation, or social gathering and which unreasonably disturb or interfere with the peace, comfort, and repose of owners or possessors of real property in the area affected by such noise…
    H. Public disturbance noise from portable or motor vehicle audio equipment: While in park areas, residential or commercial zones, or any area where residences, schools, human service facilities, or commercial establishments are in obvious proximity to the source of the sound, it is unlawful for any person to negligently cause, make, or allow to be made from audio equipment under such person’s control or ownership the following:
    1. Sound from a motor vehicle or vessel sound system, such as a tape player, radio, or compact disc player, which is operated at such a volume that it could be clearly heard by a person of normal hearing at a distance of 50 feet or more from the vehicle or vessel itself;
    2. Sound from audio equipment such as a tape player, radio, or compact disc player, which is operated at such a volume that it could be clearly heard by a person of normal hearing at a distance of 50 feet or more from the source of the sound;
    8.72.120 Enforcement… C. The Sections of this Chapter relating to motor vehicles and vessels and noise emanating from vehicles and vessels, shall be subject to enforcement proceedings with or without a citizen’s complaint.
    8.72.130 Violation – Penalty. A. Any person violating any motor vehicle performance standard of this Chapter, or who shall create, keep, maintain, or allow to occur any noise related to motor vehicle performance standards, as defined herein, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

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