Advocates say measure is a “great launching point” to making streets more accessible and safe
Today, County Executive Calvin Ball pre-filed a new resolution with the County Council to further support the implementation of complete streets in Howard County. “Complete streets” is a term describing roads that allow safe and accessible travel for everyone who uses them – whether walking, biking, riding a bus, using a wheelchair or pushing a stroller. These roads may include street crossings, accessible and connected sidewalks and bike lanes that make it easy for people to get where they need to go in the way that they choose.
The Streets for All coalition’s lead partners – the Horizon Foundation, American Heart Association and Bicycling Advocates of Howard County – issued the following statements in response:
“We appreciate the hard work of County Executive Calvin Ball to get us to this point, and we are pleased he shares our commitment to better, safer streets for all,” said Nikki Highsmith Vernick, president and CEO of the Horizon Foundation. “This resolution is a great launching point toward making the county’s streets safer and more accessible and for children to walk to school, for people to be more physically active and for people with disabilities and older adults to travel more easily and independently.”
“Complete streets are good for health, the environment and the economy,” said Deepak Suri, board chair of the American Heart Association. “In the coming months, we hope to see action and progress in effectively and equitably implementing complete streets across Howard County so we can achieve these benefits. We are excited to get started.”
“We want Howard County to be a leader in biking and walking and join its neighboring communities in redesigning its streets with all people, of all ages and abilities, in mind,” said Jack Guarneri, president of the Bicycling Advocates of Howard County. “By advancing changes like complete streets, we can help Howard County rise to the top in the state and the nation as the healthiest place to live.”
The Streets for All coalition launched in summer 2019 and builds upon the success of 46 organizations and businesses and 2,000 people who advocated for increased bike funding in the county. In the FY 2020 budget proposed by County Executive Ball and passed by the County Council, $2.2 million was dedicated to bike routes – an amount nearly four times higher than recent years.