Advocates push for improvements in future legislation
Last night, the Howard County Council approved a resolution introduced by County Executive Calvin Ball to establish a complete streets policy in the county. Complete streets is a term describing roads that allow safe and accessible travel for everyone who uses them, whether you’re walking, biking, riding a bus or using a wheelchair. The Streets for All coalition, which comprises 17 groups and is led by AARP Maryland, the American Heart Association, Bicycling Advocates of Howard County and the Horizon Foundation, issued the following statement in response.
“The passage of this complete streets resolution is a great first step. Now the County Council needs to finish the job.
National experts assert that passing a law is the best way to achieve long-lasting permanent changes to street design. A law would build upon the resolution to create strong, binding commitments to build the streets we need − ensuring that future generations of county residents will experience better biking, walking and accessibility, no matter who holds elected office or runs county departments.
In addition, there are several areas where legislation could improve and more effectively achieve the resolution’s vision – namely, added performance measures, better transparency mechanisms, an enhanced community engagement process and more efficient and accountable implementation standards. A law with these stronger requirements will help prioritize complete streets where they are needed most and help bring more changes on the ground that we can all see and use. Howard County needs better streets so people can walk, bike, use their wheelchair or ride the bus more safely – and passing a world-class complete streets law is the best, most enduring way to achieve that goal.”
Tell your elected officials that Howard County deserves a world-class complete streets law.
We need a law that will:
- Prioritize communities facing the greatest challenges and state a clear goal for streets to serve all users;
- Design complete streets as a default, with limited but clear exceptions;
- Include measures that capture additional outcome data such as: whether the changes improved walkability, bikeability, access, etc.;
- Include measures of progress for projects completed in communities where there is the greatest need and ensure an inclusive community engagement process; and
- Set up reasonable timelines for completing milestones, including the design manual.
Tell the County Executive and your councilmember to take the next step by introducing a strong, comprehensive, world-class complete streets law.
We’re in the news!
The Horizon Foundation’s Chief Program Officer, Glenn Schneider, recently spoke with WBAL Radio about complete streets and why Howard County needs a world-class law. You can listen to the clip on WBAL Radio’s website.
And in case you missed it, check out the Howard County Times’ overview of County Executive Calvin Ball’s resolution.