Monday, April 13, 2009

Cincinnati passes support for complete streets

Cincinnati City Council passed unanimously a resolution supporting federal complete streets legislation, minus the votes of Councilmembers Chris Monzel and Leslie Ghiz.

Late last month, Councilmember and chair of the Vibrant Neighborhoods Committee Roxanne Qualls introduced the resolution of support for the Complete Streets Act of 2009, a piece of legislation sponsored by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Rep. Doris Matsui (D-CA) promoting the design of streets that are safe for motorists, bus and transit riders, pedestrians, bicyclists, and people with disabilities.

Under the federal legislation, local governments and metropolitan planning organizations would be required to implement complete streets policies for federally-funded transportation projects or face losing those funds.

If passed, the current federal code on pedestrian and bicycle accomodation would be updated, and further research, data collection, technical assistance, and best practiced would be pursued.

Funds for complete streets measures already have been included in the City's most recent biennial budget, and the City's Department of Transportation and Engineering is already working on traffic calming projects in neighborhoods like Mount Washington and Westwood.

Between 1996 and 2006, approximately 54,000 pedestrians and more than 8,000 bicyclists were killed in road accidents due to inadequate sidewalks and crosswalks and space for bicyclist, the resolution says.

Photo credit: Bike Traffic