AUGUSTA — City councilors meet Thursday to discuss Complete Streets, a national model that encourages considering the needs of all potential users of a street, not just motorists, in the design and development of streets.

But a city administrator says the city’s streets and sidewalks already are designed to enable safe access by all drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists, public transportation users and people of all ages.

Studying Complete Streets and whether the city should establish a committee to set related policy was set as one of the City Council’s goals for this year, largely at the urging of At-Large Councilor Dale McCormick. She said the city should consider adopting the model as a way to help make sure all users of streets are considered when streets are designed and built.

Matt Nazar, development director, said the city already considers all users of a street, both in designs of city-overseen street, road and sidewalk improvement projects and in design standards developers are required to follow when building streets or roads in subdivisions.

“Augusta has adopted a policy that mirrors many of the components of a Complete Streets policy,” Nazar said in a memo. “City staff takes that policy guidance seriously when designing solutions for existing street projects. Augusta is a well-developed older city, and much of what is required in a Complete Streets policy already exists on the ground. We have an extensive street network that is complimented by an equally extensive sidewalk and trail network. We also have a solid public transportation system for a city of our size with KV Transit. As streets are rebuilt and repaved, staff takes into consideration multiple modes of travel during the design phase, including pedestrian and bicycle users.”

City Manager William Bridgeo said Tuesday councilors would discuss the concept of Complete Streets at their Thursday meeting.

“They’ll have a discussion and see how far they want to go, and whether or not what we already do is, in effect, already similar to Complete Streets,” Bridgeo said.

Nazar noted that the city’s 2007 Comprehensive Plan, in its section “A Great Place to Live & Work: A City on the Move,” promotes walkability and public transit.

Complete Streets is an initiative launched in 2004 by Smart Growth America’s National Complete Streets Coalition, which, according to its website, promotes the development and implementation of policies and professional practices that ensure streets are safe for people of all ages and abilities and balance the need of different transportation modes. Some 730 entities across the country have adopted Complete Streets policies.

Councilors meet at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in council chambers at Augusta City Center.

Councilors also are scheduled to:

• discuss parking rule changes for Winthrop and Pleasant streets in the area around the expanded Lithgow Public Library;

• discuss a change to city health insurance policy to offer policies to some temporary full-time employees to comply with the federal Affordable Care Act;

• issue a proclamation for Constitution Week;

• and discuss General Assistance maximum benefit levels.

Keith Edwards — 621-5647

[email protected]

Twitter: @kedwardskj


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