I’m pretty sure I wrote about this before but wanted to put it out there in the ether given tonight’s big meeting about the Central Avenue project. U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx issued a challenge for Mayors across the nation to make streets safer for people. As of February 16, 2016 Alameda is on the list of cities that have agreed to meet the challenge.
One of the first challenges is to take a Complete Streets approach which is exactly what the Central Street project does. From the challenge:
Walking and bicycling should be considered equally important as other transportation modes: The primary goal of a transportation system is to safely and efficiently move people and goods. Walking and bicycling are efficient transportation modes for most short trips and, where convenient intermodal systems exist, these non-motorized trips can be linked with transit to significantly increase trip distance. Walking and bicycling should not be an afterthought in roadway design.
A Complete Streets policy incorporates safe and convenient walking and bicycling facilities into transportation projects; improves conditions and opportunities for walking, and bicycling; integrates walking and bicycling into transportation systems; and provide safe and convenient facilities for these modes.
A complete streets approach changes the way every day transportation decisions are made; changes design guidelines; educates and trains everyone on the new approach, and uses new measures of success. The ultimate goal will be that pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities will be able to safely, conveniently, and easily use roads, sidewalks, bike paths, transit and rails to get to their destination.
Note that nothing in this challenge indicates that a critical mass of people must have died in order to take some kind of action on a street that is well used by people using all modes of transportation. Taking a quick look through the correspondence that was sent in a lot of people, more than the usual suspects, weighed in on this topic. It will be interesting to see what the turnout is like and how that affects some of the City Councilmembers who are highly susceptible to a large public turnout.