Photo credit: Shutterstock

Sustainable Streets are Safe Streets

Sustainability is often approached as a technical challenge, something we “should” do, for the good of the planet and for the good of the next generation. But a push toward a more environmentally responsible future will not happen unless we care deeply. Such an emotional connection comes naturally only when an activity sustains us, right now. In transportation, the Complete Streets movement has struck such a chord. It starts with the fundamental human issue of personal safety. Complete Streets policies require that streets and roads be planned to ensure the safety of everyone who uses them, whether driving, walking, riding a bike, or catching a bus. They have been adopted by more than half the states and more than 500 local jurisdictions. Groups from AARP to the YMCA are working for adoption of such policies because they want the road network to provide greater safety and more options for the people they serve. Elected officials are on board because such a broad range of constituents are asking. And transportation practitioners are motivated to make change in part to end the sight of people tramping in the grass alongside the high-speed multi-lane roadways. Safety has always been integral to the practitioner’s mission and a complete streets approach expands their view of that responsibility. Read more at the APA blog, Sustaining Places