Northfield’s Complete Streets policy has been recognized as one of the top 10 policies in the country for 2012 (we ranked #5 out of the 125 Complete Streets policies adopted in the US in 2012).
What’s so great about having a Complete Streets policy? My big policy goal is to link transportation and land use planning to increase the productivity and sustainability of Northfield. To reach that goal requires some consciousness-raising, disseminating information about the costs of development for cities, and many incremental steps. A Complete Streets policy is part of making transportation planning more intentional, better linked with surrounding land uses, and increasing awareness of the critical role streets play in cities’ budgets, safety, economic development, stormwater management, quality of life and, of course, getting around town. By itself, the policy won’t accomplish much, but it is a piece of the bigger picture.
Here’s a bit more news coverage of the announcement: Envision MN highlights Northfield’s accomplishment; Streetsblog provides some criticism about Complete Streets policies; Better Cities calls Complete Streets a “key strategy” for revitalization of cities. Here’s some old coverage about some of the people who helped organize the Complete Streets effort in Northfield and even a mention in Rice County’s public health information.