Gabe Klein Ties Complete Streets to Chicago’s Economic Success at National Complete Streets Coalition Dinner

Last week, fifty Partners and friends of the National Complete Streets Coalition gathered in Washington, DC to celebrate the Complete Streets movement, the Coalition’s work over the last year, and the generous annual support of our Partners.

The dinner’s featured guest, Commissioner Gabe Klein of the Chicago Department of Transportation, added to the room’s enthusiasm. Commissioner Klein tied Chicago’s Complete Streets efforts to city’s economic success, citing the growing attention Complete Streets receive from local leaders, including Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Chicagoans are seeing Complete Streets as the pathway to safer and more attractive places for people to live and attract top companies to the city. Commissioner Klein encouraged Complete Streets supporters to “be brash” when talking about your goals, clearly communicate the benefits of the approach, use all available funding sources, and demand more from the private sector.

The buzz continued over dinner as our guests — primarily from planning and traffic engineering firms — enjoyed one another’s company. Many thanks to our loyal Partners who continue to support the Coalition’s mission and work.

Coalition Director Roger Millar also spoke of the Coalition’s eventful 2012. We became an official program of Smart Growth America; released the Complete Streets Local Policy Workbook, our annual Complete Streets Policy Analysis report, and two reports on implementing Complete Streets in California and Minnesota; and facilitated a whopping 17 Complete Streets workshops.

The Coalition continues to build momentum in 2013 with plans to release a new resource on state-level Complete Streets legislation; a guide to answering the question about the costs of Complete Streets; and a toolkit on Complete Streets implementation.

If you are interested in attending next year’s dinner, or want to learn more about complete streets efforts around the country, be sure to join our mailing list!

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    One Response to Gabe Klein Ties Complete Streets to Chicago’s Economic Success at National Complete Streets Coalition Dinner

    1. Kathryn Papp says:

      It is dismaying to see that a major citizen outreach effort is not being conducted in advance of engaging the private sector. The Smart Growth and Complete Streets organizations, themselves, are strongly represented by those who would benefit monetarily from policy implementation.

      To date it appears there are no traffic engineering designs that can accomodate all three mobility modes together. Without strong input from pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers implementation of this commendable concept will generate predictable conflicts.

      Coming from a private sector new service development background we STARTED by asking the “customer” – in this case the citizen – what he wanted, how he wanted it delivered, and what the cost should be.

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