Councilmember Jan Drago
COUNCIL PASSES “COMPLETE STREETS” LAW
The City will have new principles for street design
SEATTLE- The Council, today, unanimously passed a “Complete Streets” ordinance that establishes new principals for street design. Councilmember Jan Drago, chair of the Transportation Committee, said, “‘Complete Streets’ support and encourage walking, bicycling, and transit use while promoting safe operations for all users.” Components of the “Complete Streets” design include street and sidewalk lighting, pedestrian and bicycle safety improvements, public transit facilities accommodation, street trees, and more. With the passage of “Bridging the Gap,” a 9-year, $365 million, transportation levy in November 2006, the City will be undertaking numerous street improvements for Seattle’s citizens over the coming years. The “Complete Streets” policy will guide those investments and result in a transportation network that is more in line with the Council’s focus on effectively moving people and goods rather than primarily concentrating on vehicles. Councilmember Richard Conlin said, “‘Complete Streets’ will foster sustainability and give Seattleites better choices for mobility.”
Seattle joins two dozen jurisdictions nationwide that have already enacted “Complete Streets” and found great benefit from doing so. “Complete-Streets” principles advance Seattle’s Climate Action Plan. In the Puget Sound area, over 50 percent of greenhouse gas emissions are from cars and trucks. At the same time, the majority of Seattle’s car trips are just a few miles in length. Polls show that a majority of Americans want to walk and bicycle more, while health experts are increasingly able to link obesity and health problems to the lack of walkable neighborhoods. “Complete Streets” will provide real choices for people to walk, bike, and take transit for more trips resulting in healthier lifestyles and a healthier Seattle.
Since each street has unique needs and characteristics, the application of “Complete Streets” principles to each road will be different each time. The ordinance also recognizes the unique needs of freight mobility especially along streets designated as “major truck streets.”
Councilmember Drago said, “With a “Complete-Streets” policy firmly in place, the City will be able to balance the needs of all users of our streets and truly offer options for getting around the city without a car.”