Weekly News – Happy Walk to School Day

Multimodal kids. Photo by Flickr user Bike by the Sea.
Multimodal kids. Photo by Flickr user Bike by the Sea.

Happy Walk to School Day, everyone! Schools across the country are participating, helping students and communities gain the benefits from increased walking and biking. As Secretary Ray LaHood said this morning, today’s activities model a more livable, sustainable future.

The National Journal’s Expert Bloggers are discussing livable communities this week. AARP Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond weighs in on ensuring affordable housing, more transportation options, and lower transportation costs, calling for the transportation sector to build complete streets.

October’s AARP Bulletin covers the U.S. Department of Transportation’s efforts toward more livable communities in its October issue, with an interview with Secretary LaHood. For him, a livable community is “where you can walk to work, your doctor’s appointment, pharmacy or grocery store. Or you could take light rail, a bus or ride a bike.” All possible through complete streets!

On the local level, several YMCAs have recently been funded to work on healthier, more active communities and are working toward complete streets policies, including the YMCA of Western North Carolina and the Jefferson County (MO) Family YMCA. In Jefferson County, the YMCA is joined by the County Health Department, the City of Festus, and the Jefferson Regional Medical Center in developing and adopting a complete streets policy

Montgomery County, MD: Health impact assessments might be used in Montgomery County when evaluating proposed transportation projects, highlighting the link between transportation and public health. (Washington Post)

Michigan: Complete Streets advocate Rory Neuner has a great write-up in this month’s Healthy Kids, Healthy Michigan newsletter (pdf) detailing all the great strides taken across the state to ensure safe, livable streets for all. (Michigan Complete Streets Coalition)

Moorhead, MN: Following increased local action on complete streets in the region, the Fargo-Moorhead Chamber of Commerce has published a blog post on the benefits of complete streets. Clay County hosted a complete streets workshop earlier this year. (Fargo Moorhead Chamber)

Toronto, ON: Debate continues over allocating more space to pedestrians and cyclists on streets throughout the city. Advocates have begun working toward a complete streets policy to ensure the city’s streets are designed for all users. (Torontoist)

Philadelphia, PA: The city has unveiled a $1.6 billion plan to make it the greenest in the country. Greenworks Philadelphia includes a number of proactive steps, including an unprecedented commitment to “green” stormwater management and increased investment in complete streets. The Mayor announced a Complete Streets executive order earlier this year. (Smart Growth Online)

Dallas, TX: Cyclists convened on City Hall Plaza on Wednesday, October, 7th to learn about future complete streets initiatives, as well as to meet the city’s new bicycle coordinator. (Bike Friendly Oak Cliff, Dallas Observer)

Charlottesville, VA: Following a pedestrian fatality in the City, local politicians have latched onto a complete streets approach to improve safety, as well as health and quality of life. (Charlottesville Daily Progress)

Complete Streets