Growing up, my father was an avid road cyclist. For years, he’d spend his weekend mornings cycling around the roads and his weekdays commuting via bike through the city to get to work. Unfortunately, the fear of getting hit by a car caused him to retire from the sport. This is not an uncommon fear for those who commute by foot, bike or other means of transportation besides cars. Helping bikers and pedestrians to get from point A to B is a key goal for the National Complete Streets Coalition, as well setting the foundation for long term sustainable mobility.
National Complete Streets Coalition is about changing the policy of how our country’s roads and streets are designed and used. In a “complete the streets” vision, roads in cities and rural areas will all have sidewalks, bike lanes, larger shoulders, crosswalks and private lanes for public transportation buses. Streets in cities like New York look vastly different than those found in a small town, but the National Complete Streets Coalition would work with the surrounding environment to construct roads, creating the least amount of impact of the natural landscape while ensuring safety and an easy commute.
Climate change and rising gas prices have been huge influences on “complete the streets” image. In a Complete Streets vision, their designs would make public transportation operate smoother and be more accessible. Bike lanes and better sidewalks would allow people to have the option of ditching their car for a more affordable and healthier way of commuting. By giving people the option of using other means of transportation besides their car could significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and also save money.
Places all over the country have started jumping on the coalition’s bandwagon to “complete the streets.” Already, 203 towns and cities have already begun adopting the coalition’s policies. The EPA has also become involved, providing help to communities trying to retrofit their streets.
By helping to reduce CO2 emissions, promoting public transportation and creating safer roads for walkers and bikers, it is no wonder why Complete Streets is such a good idea. Hopefully it will only be a matter of time before your town or city’s streets are complete. Visit their web site (complete the streets) and sign up to bring the Complete Streets workshop to your hometown.