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Complete Streets Passes Common Council Unanimously!

The Buffalo Common Council has passed the Complete Streets legislation yesterday at the full council meeting unanimously! By doing so, the council has placed itself on the cutting edge of this national movement by being one of only 50 jurisdictions across the country to do so.
“This is going to enhance the quality of life for people in Buffalo and contribute to the health and well being of all residents within our city.”
-Council Member David A. Rivera, Niagara District
In celebration, on Friday, May 30th the Mayor (invited) and Council Members will ride bicycles from their homes and arrive at Lafayette Square at 9am, all citizens are encouraged to participate as well. Once gathered, they will ride as a group down Court Street to Niagara Square where the Mayor and Council members will join Green Options Buffalo to publicly announce the Complete Streets Policy.
“Our city streets belong to everyone, and they should be designed to be safe for bicyclists, pedestrians, and drivers. With good urban planning, both the environment and citizens can benefit from Complete Streets Legislation. The City of Buffalo Common Council is leading the way from our bicycles today.”
-Council Member Michael P. Kearns, South District
What are complete streets? Well, they work to ensure that when a roadway is designed, constructed or maintained, equal consideration will be given to commuters of all kinds – including bicyclists, pedestrians, public transportation users, children, people pushing baby strollers and the disabled. There are no dollars attached to this policy, and there should not be because the legislation is simply a change in the decision-making process. The idea is to create institutional change, and this will not occur by simply passing a policy but by working with the decision makers proactively in the front end, training and developing staff skills in serving all modes, and developing local design guidelines. This policy is but a positive step in the right direction creating the groundwork to allow this to happen.
“This legislation has the ability to enhance the infrastructure in our city so that more citizens can enjoy and appreciate the beauty Buffalo has to offer while enhancing their health, curtailing carbon emissions and saving money on gas that can be put back into the local economy.”
-Council Member Demone A. Smith, Masten District
Still having doubts? Read what the professionals are saying in the May 2008 issue of the ITE Journal (Institute of Transportation Engineers). There is an excellent and timely article about complete streets.
The feature explains the complete streets movement and explores ways to make urban thoroughfares more pedestrian and bicycle friendly and respectful of the surrounding community while not unduly compromising motor vehicle travel. Techniques for designing an arterial street that can control traffic speeds and permit more comfortable and safe pedestrian and bicycle access is described.
Hope to see YOU out on bicycle or another Green Option of transportation this summer!

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