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Columbus steps toward Complete Streets

Marc Lefkowitz  |  08/25/08 @ 9:53am

A strengthened bike advocacy movement in Columbus is causing a 'mind shift' that will ensure biking, walking and transit are an integral part of the city's transportation grid. Consider Biking reports that it worked with Columbus city council to pass a Complete Streets resolution (a nice warm-up to legislation). While bike planners in Cleveland have drafted a similar resolution, it has yet to be considered.

After years of espousing the concept of Complete Streets to our community leaders, we're finally gaining traction! On July 28th, Columbus City Council, through the leadership of Councilmember Maryellen O'Shaughnessy, adopted a "Resolution of Support for Complete Streets." Perhaps, the most satisfying moment of the evening came when Director of Public Services, Mark Kelsey, provided the following quote, "What we're talking about in our society is nothing short of a revolution in the city of Columbus." Cycling advocates have struggled for years to have our traffic engineers consider routine accommodation for cyclists, pedestrians & mass transit users. The change in our urban planners' perspective in the last year is nothing short of remarkable.

This follows on the heels of Columbus Mayor "Bikin' Mike" Coleman unveiling the city's Bicentennial Bikeways Plan in May. He committed $20 million by 2012 to make biking a safer, easier way to get around Columbus' neighborhoods and to jobs and activities downtown. Cleveland has a similar, $13 million Bike Plan as part of its five-year capital campaign.

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