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EQUITY When the City of El Dorado, AR commissioned Crafton Tull to create a community-engaged master plan to accommodate the expansion of the US 82B corridor through an economically and socially diverse area of town, we knew the vital role citizen input would play in creating an environment that would strengthen both the public and private realm. We worked closely with residents, business owners, elected officials, and A r DOT to determine a street cross section that would include non-vehicular modes of transportation, minimize impact to existing structures, and incorporate Complete Streets principles. One of the cornerstones of the Complete Streets model is the idea that age, physical ability, and income levels should not determine access to transportation. In an article published in The Nation’s Health a publication of the American Public Health Association (APHA) in August of 2018, Julia Haskins explains how “A community that promotes health equity provides adequate modes of transportation for all users. Pedestrians, public transit riders, bicyclists and others can all get around safely and easily in such an environment.” She goes on to make the case that “A complete streets approach ensures that such mobility conditions are met, making for more liveable communities.” The idea is that a community’s most financially disadvantaged residents should have the same level of mobility as residents who can purchase and maintain a personal vehicle.

HEALTH Improved health is one of the most substantial benefits of implementing Complete Streets in your town. Increased walking and bicycling is known to be highly effective in reducing the risk of obesity. The addition of bicycle and pedestrian facilities is integral to the Complete Street model. Smart Growth America cites a study finding that “43 percent of people with safe places to walk within 10 minutes of home met recommended activity levels, while just 27 percent of those without safe places to walk were active enough.” In addition to the health benefits of increased movement, multiple modes of transportation offer greater access to healthy food options not always available to all areas of the community. A quick visit to the National Complete Streets Coalition (NCSC) website’s Partners page shows that many of the Country’s leading healthy living organizations, including the American Public Transportation Organization (APTA) and the American Heart Association, are part of the extensive collection of advocates and transportation professionals that make up the NCSC. SUSTAINABILITY According to Smart Growth America, “Complete Streets are a natural complement to sustainability efforts, ensuring benefits for mobility, community and the environment.” A great example of the low-impact development approach to dealing with stormwater runoff is the Little Rock Main Street water quality design, which received the 2016 American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) of Arkansas Grand Conceptor Award. By providing space for low emissions (non-motorized) travel options, Complete Streets align with environmental efforts to reduce air pollution. Aside from environmental sustainability, cities should also consider fiscal sustainability when installing infrastructure to a new growth area of town. The cost to add bike lanes or a wide multi-use path, if the right of way can accommodate all facilities, is nominal compared to the cost to retrofit that same infrastructure at a later date. Our experience navigating the often complex process of planning, designing, and building Complete Streets means that we are well-qualified to help municipalities of all sizes begin the process.

Questions about complete streets? Reach out to us at craftontull.com ADVERTISEMENT BIKE ARKANSAS issue no. 11 | 23

Profile for Arkansas Times

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