The latest Allegheny County municipality to define a transportation vision for all
On Monday, Wilkins Township became the latest Allegheny County municipality to pass a Complete Streets Policy. Just east of the City of Pittsburgh, Wilkins Township is community that touches eight other municipalities, including Penn Hills, Monroeville, Churchill, and Forest Hills, among others.
Over the past few years, the City of Pittsburgh, as well as the municipalities of Sharpsburg, Etna, and Millvale have also passed Complete Streets Policies.
Complete Streets policies are an important tool to ensure our streets are safe, convenient and accessible to everybody, regardless of who they are, where they live, or how they get around. It’s about changing the way we approach transportation projects on all streets.
These policies take a “fix it first” approach and can enshrine a community’s vision for their streets on paper, helping to make sure that all modes and are considered at the start of a project or maintenance schedule. Another way to think about it, Complete Streets policies put the responsibility on decision makers to show why all modes can’t be accommodated, as opposed to the community needing to prove why the accommodation is necessary.
Wilkins Township has introduced a robust policy to address this vision. Here’s a sample from the Statement of Purpose and Intent:
The Wilkins Township Complete Streets Policy requires all transportation projects designed for streets and trails systems to be safe and to provide practical access to users of all abilities, including pedestrians, bicyclists, transit users and motorists, together with vulnerable populations, such as people with disabilities, seniors and children.
This Complete Streets Policy is intended to promote better health, to make overall travel more efficient by increasing affordable transportation mode choices and easing the transition from one mode of transportation to another. It is the long-term intent of this Complete Streets Policy to contribute to the desirability of Wilkins Township as a place to live, work and do business and to contribute to improved air quality in the region by reducing the number of commuter trips taken by driving alone.
We’re excited to see what Wilkins Township will accomplish with this policy, and fully support their forward thinking vision.
Now, what other Allegheny County municipalities will follow suit?