Re: DES #0100701, US 27 Richmond, Wayne County
The City of Richmond asks that INDOT prepare an additional alternative which follows the USDOT guidance stating that "bicycling and walking facilities will be incorporated into all transportation projects unless exceptional circumstances exist." 
This US Government policy is in accordance with our own Comprehensive Plan  which emphasizes sustainability, as well as the U.S. Mayor's Climate Protection Agreement  which I signed on August 28, 2007. This forward-looking policy directs us to promote transportation options including walking and biking.
This renovation of U.S. 27 is a once-in-a-generation opportunity. It is prudent for us to not only consider the best practices of today, but to seek transportation options that will serve our needs 20 years in the future. The project location is exactly where we need to promote walk-ability and bicycling access%u2026. in our urban center where many people need to walk or bike safely.
As we look ahead, we see that "Complete Streets" legislation is already pending at both the Federal  and State levels. Such legislation produces streets designed to enable safe access for all users. These designs serve pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and public transportation users of all ages and abilities.
This is the balanced approach to transportation that Richmond needs. Complete Streets address many factors that will bring road users to seek alternative forms of transportation in the next decade. Climate change, rising fuel costs and the need for healthier lifestyles are all needs that our roads need to address and anticipate.
Here are some examples of specific causes for concern with the current recommended alternative:
1. The proposed plan calls for straightening 27 at North C Street. This will increase traffic speeds into our downtown where more people walk and bike. Research  indicates that higher traffic speeds bring higher risk of injuries and accidents. However, INDOT's proposal does nothing to mitigate the negative effects that higher traffic speeds will bring to our downtown.
2. The proposed plan makes no attempt to relate to our recommended bike route network, although the network includes a significant gap due the historical design of U.S. 27. The road was not designed to accommodate bikes originally, and against the guidance of current federal policy, the proposed update fails to make any amends to this.
The current proposal was developed using a coordination period that sought feedback from parties who could comment on many aspects of the road's impact, from water and air quality to hazardous materials, historical homes and social justice concerns.
Notably absent from the list of contacted parties were any representation of transportation modes other than motorized vehicles. We specifically ask that INDOT seek and consider the input of related groups in an updated proposal. Locally, the City of Richmond can recommend groups such as Bike Richmond who could provide specific input. For state-level input, Health By Design  can be used to provide INDOT a list of groups to serve as resources when implementing a Complete Streets design. CompleteStreets.org provides listings of expert engineering firms  which could serve INDOT directly on this project.
We respectfully ask INDOT to provide an updated proposal based on Complete Streets principles to best serve our community for the decades to come.
Sally Hutton, Mayor