Group seeks ‘Complete Streets’ investment
Creating transportation networks on which trucks, automobiles, motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians co-exist is the goal of proponents of a Complete Streets mindset in the Mahoning Valley.
The primary purpose of a Complete Streets Town Hall meeting Tuesday at the Tech Belt Energy Innovation Center was to lay the groundwork for establishing policies to make streets safer and more convenient for all ages and modes of transportation.
Policies are crucial to create the basis for ongoing investments in Complete Streets even when leadership changes, said David Shipps, Ohio office director of TooleDesign Group, a national firm that puts together Complete Streets plans.
Complete Streets are designed and built to ensure the right-of-way for everyone, said Shipps, keynote speaker at Thuesday’s meeting attended by about 25 people.
In addition, less driving and more walking and bicycle and transit riding improves the economy and promotes a healthier lifestyle. “People buying homes want the area to have a variety of transportation,” said Shipps.
The Complete Streets concept begins with a state of mind that is creeping into Trumbull County.
The Trumbull County Planning Commission, which contracts to prepare comprehensive land use plans for governmental units, includes a Complete Streets component in the document, said Nick Coggins of the planning commission.
“We have included the concept in the land use plans of Girard City and Hubbard Township,” Coggins said.
The Complete Streets initiative and other programs, funded by a federal grant at the rate of $135,000 for each of five years, is aimed at creating healthier communities through physical activity, healthy eating, and tobacco-free living, said Jenna Amerine, health educator for the Trumbull County Combined Health District and Creating Healty Communities program director.