June Issue ~ COMPLETE STREET? Do you mean the roadwork isn’t done?!

Mission Village Voice
R.E.A.C.H. column, June issue
COMPLETE STREET? Do you mean the roadwork isn’t done?!
Perhaps the term ‘Complete Streets’ is ambiguous, but to those trying to figure out how to make communities walking and bicycling friendly, it is the solution. When people find walking or bicycling along a road or street comfortable, there has been a far sighted Transportation Planner out there. That Planner saw the need for a little extra room for the kid bicycling to school along with the parent walking their child. Even if you don’t have kids, but love getting out for a little exercise in the open air, it feels so much better if there’s a wider sidewalk, or a bike lane provided, and you feel really great if there are a few trees in between, right? That is a ‘Complete Street’; it accommodates all segments of our community.
Along the way to greatness our population has become enamored and dependent upon our vehicles. Trucks have been licensed to aggressively move freight as the blood line of our economy. Our youth tend to express their independence through driving. Along the way we’ve lost touch with those who move slower on the earth, forgetting how nice it is to move in a bipedal mode, i.e. walking, running, skipping and bicycling.
As our country keeps track of high sugar diets, Trans Fat consumption and the doom and gloom of obesity, the suggestion is that we might consider a bit of walking or biking to use that stored energy. ‘Complete Streets’ are here for the public to feel encouraged to do just that.
State and Federal guidelines coming into local governments are requiring trip-conserving measures. In other words, ‘cut back on car use’: reduce trips per day in and out and around our cities. The mandate is coming for car pool, bus and train implementation, rather than widening roads. So there you have it!