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Movement – Heard of ‘complete streets’?

Posted in Models, Movements by fedwards on August 17th, 2007

This article from the Smart Growth America Newsletter discusses the new movement in the USA called “complete streets” which advocates for everyone’s right to roads considering the needs of pedestrians, bike riders, senior and the disabled AS WELL AS mass transit in planning new or reconfiguing existing roads. Read on for more information about the movement. Any idea how we could extend this to other countries – say Australia? Comments welcome!

Movement for complete streets makes front page of USA Today

The nationwide movement for complete streets has been spreading like wildfire around the country, possibly because it’s an idea that nearly everyone can get behind. A growing number of legislatures, as well as mayors, county executives and governors are adopting strong policies that require new or redeveloped roads to be designed so that they are safe and convenient for everyone who uses them. The USA Today’s John Ritter picked up on the trend with a front page story July 29, chronicling the “national trend that has dozens of state and local governments considering the needs of pedestrians, bike riders, seniors, the disabled and mass transit when they plan new roads or reconfigure existing ones.”

The only sour note in an otherwise upbeat story about making communities more livable was a quote from old-line traffic engineer David Hartgen, emeritus transportation professor at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, who still sees public rights of way as the exclusive province of engineers. “I’m not really a big fan of complete streets,” he said.

Louisville, Kentucky Mayor Jerry Abramson is one of several leaders profiled due to Louisville’s recent adoption of complete streets guidelines. He reaffirms that the streets of Louisville belong to everyone, but also that the change in what people want and need is driving the movement. “America’s demographics are driving the complete streets movement, Abramson says. ‘The society is getting older. We’re jogging, walking, bicycling much more than ever before,’ he says. Empty nesters leaving big suburban homes for downsized urban living want friendly, walkable streets, he says.”

Read the front page story in the USA Today.

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