Communities around the United States are moving to build “complete streets” that serve people, not cars (link). Complete streets are streets that are accessible, safe, and convenient for many users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motor vehicle drivers, and transit riders, of all ages and abilities. A “complete street” can look different between communities; there is no prescription for what it should look like, as long as it serves the community well.
All of us, at one time or another, use at least a few different transportation modes, depending on our situation and the type or length of the trip. When streets are unsafe or uncomfortable for some modes, that limits our choices. Half of the trips that Americans make are under three miles long, distances easily traveled by bicycle or walking, but 72% of those trips are made in a car (link). With better options, we could save gas, money, and burn calories by getting out of the car for those short trips. Complete streets not only provide better choices for people who cannot drive, but they allow everyone a wider range of choices for transportation for all our trips, and make all of us safer along the way.
(Photo credit: www.pedbikeimages.org / Laura Sandt)