In addition, collisions dropped by 40 percent and injuries fell
by 71 percent.
“As a result, more people want to be on Edgewater Drive,”
according to the report. “The corridor has seen 77 net new
businesses open and 560 new jobs created since 2008.
The most dramatic results, however, were in long-term
real-estate and business investment. Since the project was
first proposed, the value of property adjacent to Edgewater Drive has risen 80 percent and the value of property
within half a mile of the road has risen 70 percent.”
Planners are strong advocates for Complete Streets policies, and more and more elected officials are getting on
board, but selling projects to the public can be challenging.
Smart Growth America rated the Complete Streets policy in Reading, Pa., as the best in the country in 2015.
Reading received a perfect score of 100, the first time that
happened in the annual Smart Growth America ratings.
“Reading totally got it,” said Emiko Atherton, director of
the National Complete Streets Coalition. “They understood how policy can shape the feel of a community and
took it to heart.”
Complete Streets policies can
shape the feel of a community.
Since then, however, the mayor whose administration developed the Complete Streets Policy lost his
bid for re-election in the primary. The new mayor is
committed to the Complete Streets Policy, said Ralph
Johnson, Reading’s director of public works, but there
“Trying to get the citizens to buy into Complete Streets
seems to be more challenging than we were expecting,” Johnson said. “It’s change, and change takes time.
The city is a financially challenged city so implementing the policy is a challenge for us to accomplish at an
expeditious rate. We need to be patient and move at
a steady rate.”
John Van Gieson is a freelance writer based in
Tallahassee, Fla. He owns and runs Van Gieson
Media Relations, Inc.
Courtesy of Meet Minneapolis Courtesy of Meet Minneapolis