The National Complete Streets Coalition hosted our Seventh Annual Complete Streets Dinner last Tuesday evening, January 10, 2017. More than 60 advocates, supporters, partners, and friends gathered in Washington, DC to mingle, share ideas, and commemorate an eventful year for the Coalition.
Geoff Anderson, president and CEO of Smart Growth America, delivered a brief address welcoming guests to the dinner before passing the microphone to Art Guzzetti, vice president of policy at the American Public Transportation Association and a member of the Coalition’s Steering Committee, who introduced the Coalition’s partners and sponsors. Coalition director Emiko Atherton recounted our accomplishments over the past year, including surpassing 1,000 Complete Streets policies nationwide and introducing a new strategic plan focused on implementation and equity.
Governor Parris Glendening, president of Smart Growth America’s Leadership Institute, spoke next and echoed Atherton’s comments about the Coalition’s new strategic mission. “We must use Complete Streets to address the most pressing issue in our country: the growing inequity,” Glendening explained. He then introduced the evening’s featured speaker, Commissioner Polly Trottenberg of the New York City Department of Transportation.
Commissioner Trottenberg shared her insights and experiences implementing Complete Streets in New York City. She highlighted the city’s achievements, such as building more than 1,000 miles of bike lanes, as well as ongoing challenges, including reducing speeding near schools. Commissioner Trottenberg also discussed the importance of involving all members of a community in transportation decisions. “We have to be cognizant that Complete Streets can be seen as a gateway to displacement and gentrification,” she cautioned, emphasizing how better public participation can make projects more inclusive and successful from start to finish. The Commissioner closed her remarks by answering several questions from the dinner audience.
The Seventh Annual Complete Streets Dinner would not have been possible without the generous support of our sponsors: VHB, MIG | SvR, Greenroads, and the National Association of Realtors. Many of our Steering Committee members also attended the dinner, including AARP, the American Heart Association, the American Society of Landscape Architects, AECOM, the National Association of City Transportation Officials, Nelson\Nygaard, Stantec, Washington State Department of Transportation, and Whitman, Requardt & Associates. Other Complete Streets champions represented at the dinner included our partners: the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals, T.Y. Lin International, Alta Planning + Design, Gresham Smith & Partners, Kittelson & Associates, and Johnson, Miriman & Thompson.
Thank you so much to everyone who attended. Your passion for Complete Streets continues to inspire us. We hope you’ll join us at our eighth annual dinner next year.