City of Portsmouth, NH hosts workshop on how to implement its Complete Streets policy

Picture for past workshops page- Portsmouth
View of downtown Portsmouth. Photo by nhlinux via Flickr

Portsmouth officials, regional transportation officials, and members of the public met with representatives from Smart Growth America on June 12 and 13, 2014 as part of a free, grant-funded technical assistance program. The two-day workshop provided City decision makers and transportation officials with the tools to help develop an action plan for implementing the city’s Complete Streets policy, which was adopted by City Council last fall and has been recognized by Smart Growth America’s National Complete Streets Coalition as one of the best Complete Streets policies of 2013. Complete Streets are planned, designed, operated and maintained to be safe, comfortable and convenient for people of all ages and abilities, whether they are walking, bicycling, driving, or riding on public transportation.

“The City recognizes the importance of providing infrastructure support for pedestrians and bicyclists as well as for motorists,” said Portsmouth City Manager John Bohenko. “Expanding transportation options can increase quality of life by improving the safety, health and welfare of our residents, reducing traffic congestion, and increasing economic vitality.”

The first day of the workshop included a public presentation that provided a broad overview of Complete Streets and their benefits. The next day was an all-day workshop where local representatives and transportation and land use staff met with instructors from the National Complete Streets Coalition to discuss how Portsmouth can move forward with implementing its own Complete Streets policy.

In January 2014, Portsmouth was one of 18 communities selected by Smart Growth America to participate in the free technical assistance program. Stretching from New Hampshire to California, these communities represent major cities, suburban centers, and rural towns alike.

The technical assistance program is made possible through a five-year Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Sustainable Communities, which seeks to develop local planning solutions that help communities grow in ways that benefit families and businesses, while protecting the environment and preserving a sense of place. Two other nonprofit organizations—Global Green USA and Project for Public Spaces—also have competitively awarded grants under this program to help communities get the kinds of development they want.

Workshop Materials:

Complete Streets Technical assistance