Help Complete Your Community’s Streets
Angela Hanshaw | November 08, 2011
In the spirit of this month’s feature article and the topic of civic engagement, I thought I’d highlight a program near and dear to my heart: Complete Streets. As the National Complete Streets Coalition notes:
The streets of our cities and towns are an important part of the livability of our communities. They ought to be for everyone, whether young or old, motorist or bicyclist, walker or wheelchair user, bus rider or shopkeeper. But too many of our streets are designed only for speeding cars, or worse, creeping traffic jams. Now, in communities across the country, a movement is growing to complete the streets. States, cities and towns are asking their planners and engineers to build road networks that are safer, more livable, and welcoming to everyone.
A number of libraries have embraced this concept as well and offered Complete Streets–related events:
Last week, the Hoboken (N.J.) Public Library hosted a Complete Streets Awareness Event lead by Debbie Kingsland, New Jersey Department of Transportation’s Office of Bicycle and Pedestrian Programs, and Ian Sacs, director of Transportation and Parking for the City of Hoboken. The event also included a webinar on the Complete Streets program, a video on Hoboken transportation initiatives, and a Q&A session. Refreshments and pizza were served.
Laura Torchio, president of Bike and Walk Montclair, presented “Beginning a Complete Streets program in Bloomfield” at the Bloomfield Neighborhood Association Committee meeting at the Bloomfield College Library in Bloomfield, New Jersey.
The Mercantile Library in Cincinnati, Ohio, hosted councilwoman Roxanne Qualls, who discussed her proposed Complete Streets program for Cincinnati.
The Ferndale Environmental Sustainability Commission held a public discussion on bringing Complete Streets to Oakland County, Michigan, at the Ferndale (Mich.) Public Library.
Massachusetts’ Groton Line newspaper and Groton Local, a nonprofit that works to ensure sustainability for future generations, hosted an introduction to Complete Streets at the Groton (Mass.) Public Library. The event included participation in the webinar Creating Livable, Accessible Communities by Completing Our Streets (link includes the presentation slides as well as related materials).
Want to find out more about Complete Streets? You can read the National Complete Streets Coalition’s FAQ, or look at the Complete Streets atlas to find out if your community is one of the 294 jurisdictions in twenty-five states that has adopted a Complete Streets policy. In addition, Berkeley’s Institute of Transportation Studies offers a list of related resources.
Angela Hanshaw is Program Officer/Web Editor for the ALA Public Programs Office.