Last week VODA attended a public seminar on the Complete Streets movement, hosted by Salt Lake County and the SLCO Bicycle Advisory Committee. The main presenter was Michael Ronkin, of the Complete Streets coalition. Quite simply, Complete Streets is a policy concept that mandates “on every road, street, or highway project, bikeways and walkways SHALL be included.” For far too many communities in the US, streets and roads are wastelands, basically designed as automotive sewers, merely a utility meeting the needs of cars only, ignoring all other users. The Complete Streets movement sees streets as public places that must accommodate and plan for everyone to use safely. It encourages bike lanes, pedestrian sidewalks, and accessibility for all users, regardless of disability.
The seminar included a great discussion on community, and how streets can work to build, rather than degrade the quality of our communities. Salt Lake County adopted a Complete Streets policy in 2010, and Salt Lake City adopted a Complete Streets policy in 2006.
If you’re interested, the video below shows Ronkin giving a similar presentation in Virginia in 2010.