In January, Jamie Konkoski, Program Manager, moderated the “Complete Streets Needs of Rural Areas,” break-out session during the state-wide convening of Creating Healthy Schools and Communities (CHSC) grantees.
Jamie began the session with an overview of the various types of policies, plans, projects and promotions that are relevant to implementing Complete Streets in rural areas. During the group discussion many of the participants expressed similar strategies to move complete streets forward in their rural communities. Grantees working in small towns with village centers shared approaches to working with public works departments and elected officials on improving sidewalks or bicycle facilities. Participants working in rural towns without existing infrastructure or destinations that were close enough to walk between tended to focus efforts on creating safe places to walk, primarily walking trails. Not only were these strategies similar, attendees expressed similar challenges in their complete streets efforts in small and rural municipalities. To address some of the concerns identified, Jamie described and shared tools she uses to plan and implement complete streets policies, plans and projects in North Country communities. These resources, listed below, are now available on the Heart Network website and we invite you to check them out!
1. Complete Streets Checklist – this is for use primarily in communities with a village center where there is more demand for bike/pedestrian infrastructure. Revise the list as appropriate for your community.
2. Rural Roads Checklist – more appropriate for projects on county or town roads
3. Complete Streets Policy Assessment Tool – for use in any community to document what policies and
policy supports already exist (use as a planning tool to help you decide what opportunities exist).
4. Complete Streets Matrix – this is most appropriate for use in communities that have an adopted bike and pedestrian plan and/or policy. The plan can be used to identify which facilities to include in the matrix. You will need to identify what kinds of streets exist in the community (our “Street Types” are based on how the DPW classifies the village streets). Our bike and pedestrian committee decided which facilities are desired on which types of streets. The DPW will fill out this checklist to show how they are complying with or implementing the Complete Streets Policy.
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