The National Complete Streets Coalition, a program of Smart Growth America, has released the Best Complete Streets Policies of 2018, which recognized the hard work by the Town of Walpole to draft and institute a new Complete Streets policy, naming it one of the ten best in the country passed in 2018.
Walpole joins a long list of 1,477 communities that have adopted Complete Streets policies as of the end of 2018, making a commitment to moving people, not vehicles, as the highest priority for the local transportation network.
“Policies like the one passed in Walpole are urgently needed,” said Emiko Atherton, director of the National Complete Streets Coalition. “The number of people struck and killed while walking has increased by 35 percent in the last decade nationally, at the same time that overall traffic fatalities have gone down. The good news is that we already have the solution: designing and building streets that are safe for everyone who needs to use them. A strong Complete Streets policy is the first critical step toward making that a reality across the country, and we applaud Walpole for their hard work on passing its Complete Streets Policy.”
Lead by Town Engineer Maggie Walker, P.E., with assistance from the local Complete Streets Committee members and Bill Scully, P.E., the consultant from Green International Affiliates, the policy is intended to encourage safe, connected travel options for all users. As Maggie points out, “While improvements and changes to our transportation system will require some time to fully implement, having the policy keeps the thoughts and principles in our minds as we perform our day-to-day tasks.”
Streets are a vital part of livable, attractive communities. Everyone, regardless of age, ability, income, race, or ethnicity, ought to have safe, comfortable, and convenient access to community destinations and public places–whether walking, driving, bicycling, or taking public transportation. A Complete Streets approach integrates people and place in the planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of our transportation networks. This helps to ensure streets are safe for people of all ages and abilities, balance the needs of different modes, and support local land uses, economies, cultures, and natural environments.