Roads for everyone! The first priority of the Complete Streets ordinance? Develop a street network that encourages walking, biking and bus transit.
This week the Birmingham City Council unanimously approved an ordinance that requires the city to consider all modes of transportation when roadway projects are being designed.
What Are Complete Streets?
The ordinance is a part of a transportation and design approach advocated by the National Complete Streets Coalition (NCSC), an arm of Smart Growth America (SGA). SGA is a national advocacy group that promotes walkable cities.
The NCSC was founded in 2005 by groups like: AARP, the American Planning Association, the American Society of Landscape Architects, American Public Transportation Association. Current committee members include: Blue Cross Blue Shield Minnesota, Institute of Transportation Engineers and the National Association of Realtors.
If you check out their website, you’ll read a lot about building community roads that are for everyone. One of the coalition’s goals is to:
” … Direct transportation planners and engineers to consistently design and construct the right-of-way to accommodate all anticipated users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, public transportation users, motorists, and freight vehicles.”
Priorities could include: wide sidewalks, bike lanes, bus lanes, bus shelters, crosswalks, street trees and landscaping and green spaces.
Pedestrians, Bus Riders And Cyclists, Rejoice!
The National Complete Streets Coalition promotes the development and implementation of policies and professional practices that ensure streets are safe for people of all ages and abilities while balancing the needs of different modes and supporting local land uses, economies, cultures and natural environments.
Many local groups spoke in favor of the proposed policies during the public hearing for the ordinance. They included:
- AARP of Alabama
- Birmingham Business Alliance
- Disability Rights & Resources and the American Heart Association
- Freshwater Land Trust
- Lakeshore Foundation
- Redemptive Cycles
- REV Birmingham
- University of Alabama at Birmingham
- United Way of Central Alabama
Since I’m rooting for enthusiastic cyclists (pedestrians, too) in Birmingham with this, have you seen our latest Instagram spotlight?