Virginia Beach looks to implement complete streets policy through strategy workshop

va beach picture
Photo courtesy of justinrummel via Flickr.

Officials and local residents in Virginia Beach, VA met with representatives from Smart Growth America on April 24 and 25, 2013 as part of a free, grant-funded technical assistance program. The workshops provided the city with the tools needed to create and implement a citywide complete streets policy.

“The City of Virginia Beach is looking forward to working with Smart Growth America,” said Mark Schnaufer, City of Virginia Beach Transportation Planning Coordinator. “Together, we hope to develop a framework for making our city’s street network more accommodating for all users. While we have done well planning for the automobile, we want to find ways to make our roadways more accessible for pedestrians and cyclists. With the help of these transportation planning experts, we are taking the first step in developing streets that are compatible for everyone.”

On April 24, Virginia Beach residents and city officials gathered for an introductory presentation that featured a broad overview of complete streets policies. The following day, instructors from the National Complete Streets Coalition met with several key stakeholders to discuss how the city can best move forward with its complete streets plans, and after analyzing challenges and opportunities, the instructors put together a list of strategies for future implementation.

In November 2012, Virginia Beach was one of 22 communities selected by Smart Growth America to participate in the free technical assistance program. Stretching from Maine to Washington State, these communities represent major cities, suburban centers, and rural towns alike.

The program, made possible through a five-year Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Sustainable Communities, 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. Three other nonprofit organizations—Forterra, Global Green USA and Project for Public Spaces—also received competitively awarded grants under this program to help communities get the kinds of development they want.

Learn more about the workshop and Virginia Beach’s accomplishments by reading the documents below.

Workshop Materials:

Workshop Outcomes:

Complete Streets Technical assistance