Friday, November 26, 2010

Complete Streets (aka the Car is No Longer King)

At our last City Council meeting on November 15, 2010, Charlottesville adopted a "Complete Streets Resolution," officially marking a paradigm shift in the way we design City streets so as to better and more safely accommodate all modes of transportation -- cars, buses, bicyclists, pedestrians, etc. As a result of the passage of this resolution, it is now City policy that all street construction, maintenance, and design/redesign adhere to sustainable "Complete Streets" guidelines and thereby improve access for all users. The full text of the resolution is as follows:

"WHEREAS, “Complete Streets” are defined as roadways that enable safe and convenient access for all users, including bicyclists, children, persons with disabilities, motorists, movers of commercial goods, pedestrians, users of public transportation and seniors; and

WHEREAS, “Sustainable Complete Streets” are defined as Complete Streets with elements of design, construction and operation that also serve environmental sustainability; and

WHEREAS, streets that support and invite multiple uses, including safe, active and ample space for pedestrians, bicycles, and public transportation, are more conducive to the public life and efficient movement of people than streets designed primarily to move automobiles and trucks; and

WHEREAS, promoting pedestrian, bicycle and public transportation travel as an alternative to the automobile reduces negative environmental impacts, promotes healthy living, and is less costly to the commuter; and

WHEREAS, the full integration of all modes of travel in the design of streets and highways will increase the capacity and efficiency of the road network, reduce traffic congestion by improving mobility options, limit greenhouse gas emissions, and improve the general quality of life; and

WHEREAS, many studies show that when roads are better designed for bicycling, walking and transit use, more people do so; and

WHEREAS, the design and construction of new roads and facilities should anticipate future demand for biking, walking, and other alternative transportation facilities and not preclude the provision of future improvements; and

WHEREAS, Complete Streets are supported by the Institute of Traffic Engineers, and American Planning Association, and many other transportation planning and public health professionals;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the City Council of the City of Charlottesville hereby establishes and adopts a sustainable CompleteStreets Policy whereby all street projects, including design, planning, reconstruction, rehabilitation, maintenance, or operations by the City of Charlottesville shall be designed and executed in a balanced, responsible and equitable way to accommodate and encourage travel by bicyclists, public transportation vehicles and their passengers, and pedestrians of all ages and abilities;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City shall provide for the needs of drivers, public transportation vehicles and patrons, bicyclists, and pedestrians of all ages and abilities in all planning, programming, design, construction, reconstruction, retrofit, operations, and maintenance activities and products; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the City shall view all transportation improvements as opportunities to improve safety, access, and mobility for all travelers in the City and recognizes bicycle, pedestrian and transit modes as integral elements of the transportation system."


Anonymous said...

I'm very happy about this! Three chhecrs for City Council. Hip hip
Hip hip
Hip hip

Anonymous said...

Sounds great. I'm so happy about this change.

But does it apply to all roads and interchanges planned but not yet built?

Anonymous said...

This is yet another step in the right direction for the community in establishing sustainable initiatives for safer commuting options. It's great that our city will continue supporting alternative forms of transportation! Thank you!