Day 72

My favorite segment of what I think of as the “professional walking industry” are the complete streets advocates.

Think SHARE THE ROAD and you know what they’re trying to do: bikes, pedestrians, cars, joggers, dog walkers and more, all getting along.  Making the streets safer, the city more amenable, the streetscape more desirable, and the community more livable.

Imagine: no more crossing your fingers when you rush through a busy intersection. No more cyclists waving angry fists at joggers who veer in front of them while trying to avoid a car.

Some of this can be done with little more than painted paths and Share the Road signs. Other cities need to repave, expand, and re-design their town centers, bikepaths, and sidewalks.

The Alliance for Biking & Walking in Washington D.C. advocates and funds livable streets programs across the country, and this season awarded grants to grassroots organizations in Chicago, Boston, New Orleans, Seattle, and Central Connecticut.

“Complete streets policies require that street design consider the safety and needs of all potential users including bicyclists, pedestrians, transit and the disabled. Many Alliance organizations have undertaken complete streets campaigns and won local policies, and others are currently working to win complete streets in their communities. Find model complete streets policies, complete streets campaigns, and checklists for ensuring complete streets policies are effectively implemented.” – from the Alliance for Biking and Walking website.

As a walker, I’d like to become more involved in this simple, green movement, and I’m looking forward to 2010 when my local BikeWalkMontclair group unveils their new website and, incorporating pedestrians and pedestrian issues into their mission statement and their outreach events. Cyclists are already advocating for bike paths. Walkers should find out more, and join the movement. And yes, that pun was intended!