At City Hall, a Call to "Complete the Streets"

Last week, the National Complete Streets Coalition announced that more than 100 cities across the U.S. have adopted at least some of its policies, with Lansing, Michigan and Rockville, Maryland, among the latest to seize the idea that the streets don't belong just to cars. (Ah, yes. Here we go.) Which I mention this morning only because the city council's Transportation and Environment Committee will, at 2 p.m. today, get the full what-for about the Complete Streets Initiative, which was kinda-sort introduced during that bike ride to City Hall last week. Will Dallas join the 100-plus?

You can follow along with the 42-page briefing, or read USA Today's coverage last year (to summarize: "A growing number of states and local governments are rejecting a half-century of transportation practice and demanding that streets accommodate all types of travel, not just automobiles"). But the short version is: Some at City Hall would like to reconfigure the city's streets to better fit with forwardDallas!'s urban design component calling for "Context Sensitive Design." Or, in other words: creating street designs for all modes of transportation (car, bike, hovercraft), as well as for "all ages and the disabled," that will "fit into the character of surrounding neighborhoods while maintaining safety and mobility."

Which is easier said than done; hence, the call for creating a Context Sensitive Design manual that will be co-authored by the city's Sustainable Development and Construction and Public Works and Transportation departments, as well as Brent Brown's Dallas CityDesign Studio, about which we'll have more later today. So peruse the briefing and leave your questions for Dr. James Blvd. Schutze, who will be in attendance. He's going by horse and buggy, as always.

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky