“Complete Streets”…what exactly is it?

According to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), a complete street is one that provides safe and accessible options for all travel modes –walking, biking, transit and vehicles – for people of all ages and abilities. Complete Streets improvements may be large scale such as corridor wide improvements or focused on the needs of a single mode.

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Residents of Melrose and Wakefield may well value the increased options for safe exercise and recreation that complete streets provide, as well as the flexibility to more safely walk, bike, or take transit to work or school, to do regular errands, or to visit friends and family.   Complete streets also reduce risk of injuries and fatalities for pedestrians and bicyclists, increase amounts of regular physical activity, and improve air quality as a result of reduced traffic congestion.

Close to 50 municipalities in Massachusetts, including Melrose, have adopted complete streets policies to date, and numerous others are actively considering policies. These communities are urban, rural, and suburban and represent all corners of the state. Adopting such a policy would makes cities and towns eligible to apply for the new Complete Streets Funding Program that MassDOT launched in January 2016. This program will provide training, technical assistance, and capital funding to municipalities to advance complete streets on local roadways.  As grantee of the Mass in Motion municipal wellness program, Melrose & Wakefield are also able to access technical assistance from several providers to help with policy development, prioritization, or other aspects of advancing complete streets.

The mission of Mass in Motion-Melrose/Wakefield is to make the healthy choice, the easy choice for community members.  Complete Streets is exactly that!

Thanks to the MA Department of Public Health, Massachusetts Public Health Association and the Massachusetts Municipal Association

More info/resources: http://mapublichealth.org/2015/12/03/completestreets/  

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