City lawmaker wants Complete Streets law on the books

Posted at 5:15 PM, Mar 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-09 22:15:31-05

It's not a new concept. In fact, a Complete Streets resolution is already on the books in Charm City. 

The problem is that transportation philosophy isn't being applied when new projects happen. So City Councilman Ryan Dorsey has teamed up with Bikemore to craft new Complete Streets legislation.

"At the end of the day this is about designing roads in Baltimore for the people who live in Baltimore City, in our communities, and bringing their voices to the table in the process of determining what those roads actually should look like," said Councilman Ryan Dorsey.           

They're in the process right now of drafting the proposed bill, and hope to introduce it to City Council this spring. The law would create a comprehensive manual breaking down clear design guidelines for roads.

"What we're hoping to do is every time there is a new road project, whether that's a capital improvement project or a road resurfacing project, that road has to be evaluated to see if there are improvements that can be made to make the street safer for everybody who uses the street," Bikemore Executive Director Liz Cornish said.

The whole idea behind Complete Streets is to prioritize the safety, equity and sense of community for everyone using the drag, rather than the speed of moving cars.

Protected bike lanes like the ones along Cathedral Street are typical in a Complete Streets design because they make the roadway safer and more usable for folks who aren't driving. Other changes could be lower speed limits, wider sidewalks and crosswalks, dedicated bus lanes, improved lighting, and additional trees and plants.

"This is about increasing mobility, this is about increasing access to opportunities,” Cornish said. “But it's also about making sure that our streets are designed in a way that invites life to happen there."

"How do we make sure that everybody who needs to go from one place to the next, no matter how they're getting there, are able to do so safely," said Dorsey.

Click HERE for the policy paper about Complete Streets.

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