Cleveland Heights became the second community in Northeast Ohio to adopt a Complete and Green Streets policy in 2018, after the City of Cleveland in 2011 adopted its dual purpose policy aimed at improving the safety and environmental performance of its streets with a focus on individuals, from seniors to kids to transit users. The language in the policy is strong and clear that designs for its roads will serve Cleveland Heights' goal to be a sustainable community and reduce its reliance on cars.
The National Complete Streets Coalition, a program of Smart Growth America, today released the Best Complete Streets Policies of 2018 which recognized the hard work by Cleveland Heights to draft and institute a new Complete Streets policy, naming it the best in the country passed in 2018.
Cleveland Heights joins a long list of 1,477 communities that have adopted Complete Streets policies as of the end of 2018, making a commitment to moving people, not vehicles, as the highest priority for the local transportation network.
“Policies like the one passed in Cleveland Heights are urgently needed,” said Emiko Atherton, director of the National Complete Streets Coalition. “The number of people struck and killed while walking has increased by 35 percent in the last decade nationally, at the same time that overall traffic fatalities have gone down. The good news is that we already have the solution: designing and building streets that are safe for everyone who needs to use them. A strong Complete Streets policy is the first critical step toward making that a reality across the country, and we applaud Cleveland Heights for their hard work.”
“To have one of the best Complete Streets policies in the nation is a testament to the collaborative work of highly capable and dedicated staff, residents, and elected officials,” said Cleveland Heights City Manager Tanisha Briley. “Councilwoman Mary Dunbar, Planning Director Richard Wong, and the residents who volunteer their time on the City’s Transportation Advisory Committee deserve special recognition for their work in designing an award-worthy policy that will help ensure our streets are safe and comfortable for all users regardless of mode of transportation or ability. We are truly excited to receive this national recognition for our efforts.”
Streets are a vital part of livable, attractive communities. Everyone, regardless of age, ability, income, race, or ethnicity, ought to have safe, comfortable, and convenient access to community destinations and public places–whether walking, driving, bicycling, or taking public transportation. A Complete Streets approach integrates people and place in the planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of our transportation networks. This helps to ensure streets are safe for people of all ages and abilities, balance the needs of different modes, and support local land uses, economies, cultures, and natural environments.