Friday, December 21, 2007

Complete Streets?

Depending on the meaning of the term “complete”, but one definition could be a street that accomplished its designed goal of allowing the safest and most complete movement of the vehicles (cars) it is designed for, in which case there would be no bicycle lanes, which are unsafe for cars and bikers.

Bicycle trails would be separate from cars, like the sidewalks for pedestrians are, and therefore might be called “complete” bicycle trails.

Reflections: The joy of Sacramento's complete streets
Published 12:00 am PST Friday, December 21, 2007

This holiday season The Bee's editorial board asked local residents this question, "What is the most important lesson that Sacramento or the region should take from 2007, and how can it be applied next year?"

The following is from Lea Brooks, president of the Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates:

In October, the city transformed 19th and 21st streets in midtown Sacramento from hostile, car-dominated thoroughfares to "complete streets" that accommodate bicyclists, pedestrians and motorists. It was a small but significant step toward making Sacramento a more livable community.

Sacramento put 19th and 21st streets on a "road diet" from three one-way lanes for motorists to two one-way lanes, with bicycle lanes on both sides. Overnight, these streets switched from being intimidating to safe, convenient and pleasant routes for bicyclists of all abilities. I am optimistic the city will expand this trend in the downtown grid next year and set an example for our entire region.

Complete streets create more livable communities by slowing and reducing traffic and welcoming hundreds of bicyclists who pedal to work and other destinations every day in midtown. When bicyclists have designated lanes on the street, we have no reason to ride on the sidewalks and no longer pose a danger to pedestrians and disabled people.