Making Streets Complete
American streets are built to accommodate cars; everything else is secondary. The National Complete Streets Coalition is looking to remodel the nation’s roads so they can be used by all citizens.
The coalition is comprised of advocacy groups for senior citizens, public transportation, pedestrians, cyclists, disabled people, and green urban planning.
Complete streets are designed and operated to enable safe access for all users. Pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and bus riders of all ages and abilities are able to safely move along and across a complete street.
A big recent success for Complete Streets has come by way of the Illinois Legislature. The House and Senate rallied to override Governor Blagojevich’s veto by a huge margin (109 to 3 in the House and a unanimous vote in the Senate). Thanks to the new legislation, beginning in August 2008 all new construction projects will require safe road access for cyclists and pedestrians.
Illinois is the first state to make “complete streets” in to law, although several other states and communities are working towards similar plans.
“The Illinois Legislature recognized what is becoming common sense across the country – that our roads need to serve everyone using them, whether they are driving, walking, bicycling, or catching the bus.” says Barbara McCann, Coordinator of the National Complete Streets Coalition. “By routinely completing their streets, transportation agencies increase road capacity, avoid costly retrofits, encourage physical activity and help create the walkable communities that so many people want today."
While it typically takes a cyclist’s or pedestrian’s death to inspire changes to a specific section of road, the new plan in Illinois will make all of the state’s roads safer and offer its citizens preemptive protection.
- New York City’s Streets Discriminate by Design
- Ghostly Reminders of Killed Cyclists Haunt City Streets
- Reclaim the Streets
- Lose the Traffic Lights to Improve Our Streets?
- HGTV “Green Home”: Complete with Gas Guzzling SUV!