Bike lanes in downtown Spokane. Photo by Orin Blomberg, via Flickr.
During his first term on the Spokane, WA City Council, Councilman Jon Snyder, a member of Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council, experienced a lesson that he has carried with him since. “As a leader, you need to understand the difference between a policy that may take several years to develop, and those that represent a flaw in the system that should be called out and remedied quickly.”
Councilman Snyder worked for two years to pass a Complete Streets ordinance (PDF) in Spokane, a process that took time, perseverance and creativity. Snyder credits a broad coalition of support to the ordinance’s eventual passage in 2011: During the meeting where the City Council approved the ordinance, a diverse group of community members, including representatives from schools, older adults, persons with disabilities, the local farmers’ market, and businesses all spoke in favor of policy adoption.
Springtime on Capitol Hill. Photo by Kate Harbath via Flickr.
As the adage goes, April showers bring…Congress home for spring break!
Spring break is a great time to meet with your Senators or Representative in your community and ask them to support the Safe Streets Act (S. 2004/H.R. 2468), which encourages communities to consider safety improvements for all users in transportation project planning.
The South Tar River Greenway in Greenville, NC. Photo by Mark A. Neal via Flickr.
Calvin Mercer, At-Large City Councilmember in Greenville, NC and member of Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council, is a champion for active living, recreation and broader community awareness of smart growth.
Mercer has served on Greenville’s City Council since 2007 and stresses walkability, bike paths and greenways and parks as important components of what he calls “quality growth.” Greenville is home to an extensive greenway network, and though its inception predates Mercer’s elected leadership, he views it as a vital part of Greenville’s continued pursuit toward quality growth. Since 1991 the city has added 4.5 miles to the greenway system, which consists of multi-use paths and repaired or added sidewalks.
At the National Complete Streets Coalition’s partner breakfast, part of the 2013 Every Body Walk conference last week.
The National Complete Streets Coalition had a whirlwind week last week at the first-ever National Walking Summit in Washington, DC. More than 300 participants came together to discuss ways to support walking through policy, design, advocacy, funding, organizing and engagement in communities large and small. The conference had great energy and enthusiasm for Complete Streets and how this approach supports safe, inviting and convenient places to walk.
With the help of the DowntownDC BID, the Coalition welcomed 15 Partners and Steering Committee members to Washington at its Partners breakfast. After catching up with one another, the Partners heard from Ellen Jones, Director of Infrastructure and Sustainability for the Downtown BID, about how downtown DC will begin to accommodate more pedestrians as travel demand increases.
Downtown Decatur, GA, one example of a walkable commercial district.
The National Complete Streets Coalition, a program of Smart Growth America, will be at the first National Walking Summit in Washington, DC on October 1-3, highlighting how communities are using Complete Streets to pursue walkability and support their local economies. The three-day summit will convene business, civic and nonprofit leaders to develop strategies, increase momentum and showcase best practices to increase investments in walking and walkability in communities throughout the country.
The National Complete Streets Coalition will be leading a session at the Summit called “Walkable Commercial Districts: Making the Case and Design Principles,” at 2:30 PM on October 1. The session will include a panel of local leaders—elected and otherwise—who make or influence transportation decisions.
“My home district of Sacramento continues to bear witness to too many pedestrian accidents,” said Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-CA) last week. “The needless and avoidable accidents are vivid reminders of why we need Complete Streets policies.”
Congresswoman Matsui made these comments at a briefing on Capitol Hill on Thursday hosted by the National Complete Streets Coalition. Matsui was there to introduce the Safe Streets Act of 2013, co-sponsored by Congressman David Joyce (R-OH). As Congresswoman Matsui explained to the crowd, “It is far past time for the federal government to step and show it too is committed to improving the safety of our communities.”
On June 20 at 2:30 pm, the National Complete Streets Coalition and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute invite you to join local, state and national experts at a Congressional briefing to discuss national and local trends in Complete Streets …
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.