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Following the guidelines and suggestions of the National Complete Streets Coalition, major cities across the U.S. have been redesigning their roads to incorporate separate bike, bus, and walk lanes. Not only will these additional lanes help ease congestion problems urban areas face, but they will allow commuters to ditch their cars for other means of transportation. This can only help reduce CO2 emissions.

For big cites such as New York and Boston construction and road remodeling is nothing new. . This makes it somewhat easier to retrofit roads into “complete streets.” Suburban and rural communities, on the other hand, may have a more difficult environment to work with.

In many small towns, roads are poorly designed. They often lack sidewalks and easy public transportation access, making cars the only way to get around. It may sound tricky, but the National Complete Streets Coalition has a vision for rural areas that will allow people to travel by foot, bike, or bus.

I grew up in a small town outside of New York City. It was rare for me to get anywhere without the use of my car. It was also rare for me to avoid traffic during rush hour. Towns such as mine where “complete street’s” plan for rural areas would transform ways of getting around.

By adding sidewalks and larger shoulders, rural roads could allow people to walk and bike. This would also allow for more public transportation stops. Reducing speed limits and placing more caution/stop signs would help to insure a safer commute.

“Main Street” is often the center and most important road of a town. When a town adopts “complete street’s” policy, it will allow more walking and biking accessibility on Main Street; this in turn may help the areas economy. When people are walking around they are more likely to browse shops. Providing people with more opportunities to walk and bike to places can reduce a town’s carbon footprint too.

In many small towns, Main Street is controlled by the state’s Department of Transportation. Redesigning the Main Street to become “complete” may require a little more work and petition to be done by the town’s members because of this. Many states are already on board with the ideas and policy changes that the National Complete the Streets Coalition has to offer, so why not begin the process to change your town’s streets?