What are complete streets?

You may have heard the term “complete streets” in recent discussions.  There have been recent articles written in Time Magazine and Chicago Tribune in regards to complete streets, yet there is probably confusion as to what complete streets really are.

In the simplest terms, complete streets are streets designed for all people to use regardless of mode of transportation.  This means that streets are focused on how people will use them and not merely as a domain for cars.  Complete streets consider not only using streets for getting from place-to-place but that people assemble at the street, exercise on streets, children play in streets and festivals occur in streets.  Complete streets also take into account that streets provide a connection between places.  Complete streets link together the places where people congregate: homes, parks, churches, commerce, and institutions of learning.  Complete streets realize that the bringing together of people is the primary purpose of streets. People move first and foremost through their legs, so walking and biking are incorporated within complete street designs.  People with disabilities and the elderly are also important considerations when thinking through a street’s design.  Finally, there is the traditional transportation options of busing and automobiles.  Complete streets take into account all people, linking them together, and making sure the street can meet multiple uses.

You may learn more through a short video, Complete Streets Planning 101.

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50 plus years of recommending sidewalks

How long has sidewalk expansion been recommended by village planners?  Would you believe that 50 plus years ago there are references to sidewalks being retrofitted in areas that presently lack them as an amenity.  With all the medical studies that have appeared in recent years linking lack of low-impact exercise with the rise in US obesity rates, a person could not be blamed for thinking that sidewalks are a new movement. Instead going back to the 60s, the need to provide accessible, safe, and alternative transportation choices were seen as an infrastructure issue to be resolved.

1960 Glenview Master

Master Plan 1960

2004 Glenview Master Plan

Glenview Master Plan 2004

With planning underway for the next version of Glenview’s Master Plan, there can be no doubt that the issue of filling in the sidewalk gaps in the village will continue to be raised by village planners.  The question has never been will sidewalks be installed and the pedestrian transportation corridors complete, the question has always been will we be alive to see it.

Read Master Plans – http://glenview.il.us/business/Pages/Comprehensive-Plan.aspx