Things are on the up and up for those who live in Iowa and commute by means other than auto. This month, Windsor Heights became the fourth metro area in the state to approve a ‘Complete Streets’ policy.
What is Complete Streets?
The Complete Streets policy is a unique approach that aims to improve safety and ease of transportation for pedestrians, cyclists, children, the elderly, and those who use public transportation in Iowa.
Under the policy, the following things are prioritized.
- More sidewalks
- Smaller vehicle lanes
- More bike lanes
- More bus stops
- Street trees
According to the policy, the above items are not required. However, thinking about where the above items would go within the city, and how they can be effectively integrated, is important under Complete Streets.
The Benefits of Compete Streets
The benefits of a Complete Streets policy are self-evident. The system makes walking, biking, and taking public transportation more user-friendly, especially for those who are most vulnerable and at risk of an accident, those being children and the elderly.
Not only will more people hopefully get out and about via foot or pedal or bus, but it also means fewer cars on the road. Fewer cars on the road mean less congestion, fewer greenhouse gas emissions, and (hopefully) fewer accidents. Bikers can avoid accidents by learning the Iowa bicycle laws to which they must abide.
The Complete Streets initiative also hopes to improve the safety of walkers, bikers, and those who take public transportation. To keep abreast of the happenings in your area, follow Walker, Billingsley and Bair’s bicycle/pedestrian accidents library.
But reduced accidents aside, the Complete Streets program has other benefits, too. For example, in Des Moines, Ingersoll Avenue was reduced from four lanes to two, with a center turning lane and bike lanes. Since that time, the area has benefited from new real estate development and businesses as a result. Promoting walking and biking helps to encourage more pedestrian traffic to local businesses, aiding the economy.
Promoting Pedestrian and Cyclist Well-being
Approving the Complete Streets policy for Windsor Heights is a step in the right direct for the area, and for the state of Iowa as a whole. But the driver, walkers, and bikers alike need to make an effort to keep everyone safe. From following traffic laws to always staying sober while mobile, safety is everyone’s responsibility.
If an unsafe driver caused a pedestrian or bike accident, the attorneys at Walker, Billingsley & Bair want to represent you. For a free legal consultation, call our offices at 888-435-9886 today.