Lawrence commission to consider policy promoting street safety and physical activity

The Complete Streets Policy is scheduled for consideration by the Lawrence Commission on Tuesday, March 27, as the third item under the regular agenda section.

The policy seeks to create an equitable, balanced, and effective transportation system that encourages walking, bicycling, and transit use, to improve health and reduce environmental impacts, while simultaneously promoting safety for all users of streets.

Through its Lawrence Complete Streets public education campaign, LiveWell Lawrence has been highlighting the value of streets designed for young and old, motorists, bicyclists, walkers, wheelchair users, transit riders and businesses. LiveWell Lawrence is a community initiative focused on making it easy for Lawrence residents to eat healthy foods and be more physically active.

Members of the Lawrence Complete Streets Committee have worked with Lawrence planning and public works staff to review and revise the policy first presented to the Lawrence commission on Oct. 25, 2011. Changes incorporated into the final version of the policy include the following:

  • The definition of street Users was expanded to include mobility device users, neighborhood electric vehicle users and utility tricyclists
  • The applicability of the policy to Street Maintenance was clarified
  • The applicability of the policy to both public and private transportation infrastructure was illuminated
  • A section on data collection, progress reporting and public input was added

Support for the adoption of a Complete Streets policy is found in a number of City of Lawrence documents, including the Climate Protection Plan, the Peak Oil Plan and the environmental chapter of Horizon 2020, the City's comprehensive land use plan. Additionally, the Policy Board of the Lawrence-Douglas County Metropolitan Planning Organization passed a resolution in support of Complete Streets.

The Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department has facilitated the Lawrence Complete Streets Committee on behalf of LiveWell Lawrence. Members of the Lawrence Complete Streets Committee represent a broad cross-section of the community, and the committee includes participants who serve in an advisory role. The diverse composition of committee was a deliberate effort to be inclusive of the divergent views among Lawrence residents, the pro-business community and environmentalists. The committee includes representation, for example, from the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce, the Lawrence Home Builders Association and Parsons Brinkerhoff as well as Independence, Inc., the Lawrence Association of Neighborhoods, the Lawrence Central Rotary Club, the Sustainability Action Network, the Lawrence Sustainability Advisory Board and the Lawrence Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.

Tagged: Complete Streets

Comments

Richard Heckler 2 years, 6 months ago

This is moving forward. Next step is to back up the policy by scheduling funding for whatever projects deemed necessary.

Let's put our money behind our words. The existing 1995 sales tax revenue would be a source of immediate funding.

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Marilyn Hull 2 years, 6 months ago

I agree. Passing a policy is a first step. It will take public will to make sure funding complete streets elements is a priority over time.

I really appreciate the way city staff has worked with citizens on this issue.

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jaded 2 years, 6 months ago

From the people who couldn't complete the SLT for oh I do not know, 30 years and it still is not complete.Traffic in Lawrence is already a nightmare. Bicyclists are just another obstacle.Do we want a community where people can do commerce? or do you want a commune for all the old hippies in Lawrence?

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Marilyn Hull 2 years, 6 months ago

Interestingly, the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce supports this policy because it makes it easier for customers of all ages and abilities to get to a business.

As to the label you put on advocates, check out our roster at http://lawrencecompletestreets.org/committee/. It is a very diverse group.

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Charlie Bryan 2 years, 6 months ago

Lawrence commissioners unanimously approved the Complete Streets policy at their meeting yesterday evening: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2012/mar...

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