Below is the text of a letter to the editor by the AARP Indiana’s June Lyle, published by the Indianapolis Star on June 3rd, in support of Indianapolis adopting a complete street ordinance. John is proud to be a co-sponsor, along with Council President Lewis, of Proposal 208 a complete streets ordinance set to be introduced on June 4, 2012. Introduced proposal here: PROP12-208. Health by Design produced a press release in support of the proposal. The release can be found here: Complete Streets Release – Health by Design
June 17, 2012 Update:
The Indy Star’s Matt Tully covered the Complete Streets issue here: TULLY-Indianapolis Streets
The Indy Star published an editorial in support of Proposal 208 here: Indianapolis Star Editorial June 10
Letter to the Editor
Hosting the Super Bowl was a huge boon to Indiana in so many ways, and a way to show the world just what Hoosier Hospitality truly means. One way officials in Indianapolis made the city friendlier to visitors was road improvements like repaving streets and widening sidewalks. Now, let’s take those modifications and put them on a larger scale, by adopting a Complete Streets ordinance.
Technically, Complete Streets are designed and operated to enable safe access for all users. Pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities must be able to safely move along and across a complete street. In short, we need to break out of the mentality that the car is king, and invest thoughtfully in other safe ways of getting to and from work, doctor appointments and social outings.
As the nation and our state age, Complete Streets planning presents an opportunity to increase the safety and availability of older adults’ travel options. We need streets designed to be safe and convenient for travel by automobile, foot, bicycle and transit regardless of age or ability. We need new and better sidewalks, bike lanes, trails and paths, longer pedestrian crossing times at intersections, and accessible and reliable public transit.
In a recent survey of our Indianapolis-area AARP Indiana members, 85 percent want to see a Complete Streets policy enacted. They know that such a policy will provide for a full range of mobility options for residents, allowing them to remain independent, productive and active participants in the community as they age. Their support for such an ordinance is why AARP Indiana is such an active member of the Indiana Complete Streets Campaign.
Despite the oncoming stream of older boomers, more than two-thirds of transportation planners and engineers have not begun to consider the needs of older people in their multimodal street planning and only one-third of the state and local Complete Streets policies adopted to date have made explicit mention of older road users.
Some cities in Indiana, such as Bloomington and Anderson, are ahead of the curve and have already adopted local Complete Streets ordinances. Indianapolis, let’s follow their lead and adopt a policy to make our streets safe, comfortable and convenient for users of all ages and abilities.