Hoosiers Begin Push for Complete Streets

Bloomington, IN by Sergio Bruno
Bloomington, IN by Sergio Bruno

Hoosiers are working to ensure that the ‘Crossroads of America’ include Complete Streets! More than 150 partners gathered on June 29th & 30th in Indianapolis to learn about the importance of Complete Streets and to organize a campaign to develop both state and local policies. The event, sponsored by AARP Indiana and hosted by the Health by Design coalition, kicked off a coordinated effort to ensure that Indiana streets are consistently designed and operated with all users – including bicyclists, public transportation vehicles and riders, and pedestrians of all ages and abilities – in mind.

Randy Neufeld, Strategic Management Consultant for the National Complete Streets Coalition,  led the group in dancing the two-step, discussing the respective benefits of institutionalized policy and targeted retrofits. Workshop participants used break-out sessions to: explore the challenges and opportunities within Indiana’s current transportation system; identify key leadership roles and points in the decision-making process; and develop campaign strategies related to education, communication, coalition building, and training & research. The group also brainstormed the numerous economic benefits offered by planning and building streets to accommodate all users. The list truly highlighted that Complete Streets are the fiscally responsible way to go! Contact [email protected] with questions or for more information.

Inaccessible and unwelcoming bus stop
Inaccessible and unwelcoming bus stop in Indianapolis.

A local blogger attended a portion of the workshop, and was particularly impressed with the way complete streets can encourage economic activity. With more pedestrians and cyclists able to safely access businesses, they have more opportunities to shop. Stores can require fewer parking spaces, allowing for denser development. He also posted about the opportunities complete streets provides in accessing public transportation. “I have often seen cities invest in buses with the capacity to handle disabled transit users,” he says. However, if the bus stops are not set up correctly, the system has failed.” Complete streets means ensuring such stops are no longer acceptable.

Interested in a workshop in your community? Visit our ‘Workshops’ page for more information!

Complete Streets