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Board Bill 198 Would Improve ‘Complete Streets’ Law

An incomplete street: The ramp is on the other side of the traffic signal base, opposite of the button. No crosswalk.
An incomplete street, Gravois @ McNair: The ramp is on the other side of the traffic signal base, opposite of the button. No crosswalk.

This morning I will testify before the Board of Aldermen’s Streets, Traffic and Refuse committee in favor of Board Bill 198:

BOARD BILL NO. 198 INTRODUCED BY ALDERMAN SCOTT OGILVIE, ALDERWOMAN LYDA KEWSON, ALDERWOMAN MEGAN GREEN, ALDERMAN SHANE COHN, ALDERWOMAN CHRISTINE INGRASSIA, ALDERWOMAN CAROL HOWARD An ordinance repealing Ordinance 68663, codified as Chapter 3.110.120 of the Revised Code of the City of St. Louis and in lieu thereof enacting a new ordinance relating to a “complete streets” policy for the City of St. Louis, stating guiding principles and practices so that transportation improvements are planned, designed and constructed to encourage walking, bicycling and transit use while promoting safe operations for all users.

The first reading of the bill was in November, this will be the first hearing on it. The full Bill, as introduced, can be viewed here (5 page PDF).  As noted in the summary above, it repeals & replaces Ordinance 68663 — a “Complete Streets” law adopted a few years ago.  This new bill is more — complete.

The best part is the creation of a Complete Streets Steering Committee, comprised of:

Directors or their designees from the Departments of Streets, Planning and Urban Design, Board of Public Service, Health Department, Department of Parks, Recreation, and Forestry, and the Office of the Disabled.

This committee would meet quarterly and:

  • Develop short-term and long-term steps and planning necessary to create a comprehensive and integrated transportation network serving the needs of all users;
  • Assess potential obstacles to implementing Complete Streets practices;
  • Develop an action plan to more fully integrate complete streets principles into appropriate policy documents, plans, project selection processes, design manuals and  maintenance procedures;
  • Provide an annual written report and presentation to the Board of Aldermen showing progress made in implementing this policy.

We can do better, I’m glad some aldermen are trying. For more information see the National Complete Streets Coalition.

— Steve Patterson

 

Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. gmichaud says:

    While I believe Great Streets is an improvement over what is happening, nothing is going to work until there is a focus on Great Cities. These streets don’t exist in isolation. Many factors such as transit and density of the surrounding area is a huge factor. I look at the West Florissant Great Street design and shake my head. It is good as far as it goes, but the damn street does not exist isolated from the rest of the community. How does it relate to surrounding neighborhoods? What new development strategies should be encouraged a quarter mile, a half mile and further from the street?
    Truthfully I look at these Great Streets and feel like they are being done so everyone can pretend something is accomplished. Until there is an effort to look at the root causes as to why these streets are not already great then the results will be as poor as ever. That’s the key, why aren’t these streets already great? It’s not simply a matter of new landscaping and sidewalks like on South Grand.
    Success will never come to St. Louis with such a narrow vision. A quarterly meeting of an issue that should be under daily public discussion is hardly a reasonable substitute.

     

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