Photo from Downtown Arlington, WA.
The National Complete Streets Coalition is launching the first-ever Complete Streets Leadership Academy with three communities in Washington state, thanks to support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Transportation Improvement Board. After a competitive application process, the cities of Wenatchee, Airway Heights, and Arlington have been selected to participate in this debut program.
The Leadership Academy combines the Consortium Series’ in-state, peer-learning with the practical demonstration of the Safe Streets Academy. As part of this program, three communities will participate in a series of workshops designed to pilot new approaches to create Complete Streets and embed the practice as a matter of routine.
Each of the communities will host one of three workshops during the next eight months. The workshops will focus on building skills to transform streets into safer and healthier places. These skills include harnessing the arts through creative placemaking, conducting inclusive community engagement, and undertaking local road safety planning. The participating teams will then apply these new and improved skills by implementing temporary, on-the-ground demonstration projects using funds from the Leadership Academy.
This work is possible thanks in large part to support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Transportation Improvement Board. This program is also made possible thanks to the partnership of the Washington State Department of Transportation and the Washington State Department of Health.
These three communities have already adopted Complete Streets ordinances, and they also share some common challenges and opportunities that we’ll work through together:
- Wenatchee has made a lot of progress embedding Complete Streets into day-to-day implementation, but they’re excited to keep growing their efforts. Their team hopes their demonstration project will provide the opportunity to test out new approaches and strengthen partnerships.
- Airway Heights has a strong policy, but their team hopes to establish a stronger framework for implementation with broader coordination across departments on transportation initiatives. They also see key opportunities to address food insecurity by creating safe, Complete Streets connections to healthy food.
- Finally, Arlington is growing and developing rapidly. Their team hopes to overcome pushback to Complete Streets as they work toward strengthening their walkability and transit access over the coming years.
This technical assistance is funded through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity. This program is designed to support the Washington Department of Health’s ongoing work through the State Physical Activity and Nutrition (SPAN) program.