Quick Takes: Mid-October Complete Streets Talk Across the Country

The Heart of America Bridge in Kansas City, Missouri. Photo: Kansas City Star
The Heart of America Bridge in Kansas City, Missouri. Photo: Kansas City Star

In addition to all the policies passing in communities across the country, there’s plenty of Complete Streets talk across the country, from the first inklings of policy development in New Hope, Minnesota to an article in Albany, New York’s Times Union on how Complete Streets are part of comprehensive cancer prevention strategy:

Connecticut: Though passed a year ago, Connecticut’s statewide Complete Streets law officially went into full effect on October, 1, 2010. Connecticut’s Department of Transportation must now devote at least 1% of all funding to bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure and produce annual reports on their progress in making walking, bicycling, and taking public transportation more accessible options.

Lawrence, Kansas: Freshly inspired by a Complete Streets workshop earlier this month, more and more folks in Lawrence are calling for a Complete Streets policy.

Louisiana: The state Department of Transportation and Development is rolling out its new Complete Streets policy, starting with a project on State Route 42 that would add bike lanes, sidewalks, and create an access management plan.

Michigan: The state’s transportation budget, adopted in late September, gives funding preference to communities with Complete Streets policies and to projects that further the objectives of Complete Streets. In doing so, more local communities may be encouraged to adopt their own policies.

New Hope, Minnesota: City Council discussed the growing statewide Complete Streets movement at a work session last month. City Manager and Council plan to move forward with public outreach and policy development.

Columbia, Missouri: The Columbia Daily Tribune charts the adoption of Complete Streets policies in Missouri, noting the progression from the outmoded, auto-centric roads of the past to today’s multimodal streets that give people options.

Kansas City, Missouri: An article in the Kansas City Star points explains that the “flashy” Bond Bridge lacks one important element included in another nearby bridge project: safe space for pedestrians and bicyclists to cross the river.

Albany, New York: In a recent Albany Times Union opinion piece, Diana Martin of the American Cancer Society highlights the health benefits of Complete Streets, which facilitate “maintaining an active lifestyle right in your own neighborhood” through biking, walking, or running around the block – all of which are key to cancer prevention. Martin adds that the state Assembly should take quick action on the still-pending statewide Complete Streets bill.

Seattle, Washington: A Seattle blogger explains why City Council ought to prioritize Complete Streets in their pending budget decisions, citing the economic potential of Complete Streets, potential reduction of city spending on traffic policing, and utilization of on-street vegetation to absorb runoff and relieve the burden on Seattle’s aging sewer system.

Washington, District of Columbia: Reporting on a spate of pedestrian deaths recently, the Washington Post rightly notes speeding vehicles and distracted driving as potential causes, but ignores the simple fact that too many streets in the region are built without thought for people not in automobiles.

Thanks to our intern, Krystle Okafor, who helped in writing this post.

Complete Streets