Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Troy Recognized by National Complete Streets Coalition

Troy, New York – The Transport Troy Complete Streets Citizen’s Working Group, led by Capital Roots, Troy Bike Rescue, Independent Living Center of the Hudson Valley, Transition Troy, Troy Architectural Program, Troy City Hall, and a dedicated team of volunteer citizens is working to make streets safer and more convenient for everyone who uses them—and our work has now been recognized by the National Complete Streets Coalition as one of the nation’s best.
Troy’s Complete Streets Ordinance, adopted in June, 2014, is included in The Best Complete Streets Policies of 2014, released today. The policy directs transportation planners and engineers to design and build streets that provide everyone, regardless of age, ability, income, or ethnicity, and no matter how they travel, with safe, convenient & accessible access to community destinations.

The National Complete Streets Coalition reviewed every policy passed in the United States in 2014 and scored each according to the 10 elements of an ideal Complete Streets policy. The ten jurisdictions with the highest-scoring policies adopted in the last year are:

1. Ogdensburg, NY
2. Troy, NY
3. Lakemoor, IL (tie)
3. Dawson County, MT (tie)
3. Austin, TX (tie)

6. Acton, MA (tie)
6. Middleton, MA (tie)
6. Salem, MA (tie)
9. Los Angeles County Metropolitan
    Transportation Authority, CA (tie)
9. Stoughton, MA (tie)

Capital Roots, formerly Capital District Community Gardens, helped lead the effort in the City of Troy as part of its grant work with the New York State Department of Health, Creating Healthy Places to Live, Work and Play. 

“The City of Troy was an enthusiastic partner and we were pleased to work with city officials and community partners to write and pass a complete streets policy that would have a lasting effect on moving people safely and with an eye toward quality of life,” said Capital Roots’ Executive Director Amy Klein.  “We are also very grateful to the NYS Department of Health for the opportunity to make community-level change which will improve the health of families for years to come.”

The City of Troy was very active in supporting the drafting of the Complete Streets Ordinance, seeing an opportunity to improve public accessibility, safety, generate economic impact and create a higher quality of life for residents.

“We fully anticipate the growth that we have seen over the last few years to continue,” said Troy Mayor Lou Rosamilia. “Therefore, it is important that we plan accordingly and take into account everyone’s collective needs when making decisions about our future.” 

"We love living in Troy,” said Jim Lewis, one of the volunteer citizen leaders of Transport Troy, “it's a beautiful city and a great community.  So many folks are moving here, and there is such as sense of optimism and pride.  We are happy to put our best efforts into making it an even friendlier place to live."

“The Independent Living Center of the Hudson Valley (ILCHV) is proud to have been involved in the development of such a policy, which will serve to enhance pedestrian safety and accessible public rights of ways,” said Clifton Perez, Systems Advocate for ILCHV. “Many individuals with disabilities utilize public transportation and as such are more likely to walk outside to access public transportation services, necessitating accessible and safe rights of ways. We are encouraged by our Cities interest in maximizing “walkability” and accessibility, which ought to lead to the development of an Americans with Disabilities (ADA) Transition Plan.”

“In towns and cities small and large, residents, elected officials, and transportation professionals have agreed to the Complete Streets vision through policy adoption,” said Roger Millar, Director of the National Complete Streets Coalition. “When implemented, these policies can make streets safer for everyone and support the unique character and future goals of any community.”

Nationwide, a total of 712 jurisdictions in 48 states have Complete Streets policies in place.

See more information about the winning policies and evaluation criteria athttp://www.smartgrowthamerica.org/complete-streets-2014-analysis

Capital Roots, formerly Capital District Community Gardens, is a 40-year-old nonprofit organization that nourishes healthy communities with 50 Community Gardens, The Veggie Mobile® produce market, Healthy Stores, The Produce Project, Squash Hunger and more. Capital Roots recently opened Urban Grow Center is a regional facility focused on urban agriculture and produce distribution to four counties. Learn more at capitalroots.org.

The National Complete Streets Coalition, a program of Smart Growth America, is a non-profit, non-partisan alliance of public interest organizations and transportation professionals committed to the development and implementation of Complete Streets policies and practices. A nationwide movement launched by the Coalition in 2004, Complete Streets is the integration of people and place in the planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of transportation networks. To date, over 700 agencies have adopted Complete Streets policies.

Smart Growth America is the only national organization dedicated to researching, advocating for, and leading coalitions to bring better development to more communities nationwide. From providing more sidewalks to ensuring more homes are built near public transportation or that productive farms remain a part of our communities, smart growth helps make sure people across the nation can live in great neighborhoods.  

For additional information, visit http://www.smartgrowthamerica.org/completestreets.

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