Trenton Garners National Recognition for Policy to Create Streets That Work for Everyone
April 8, 2013
Contact: Elaine Clisham (eclishamnjfutureorg) , 609-393-0008, ext. 102
The city of Trenton’s Complete Streets policy was named one of the top 10 such policies in the country by the National Complete Streets Coalition, a Washington-based organization dedicated to Complete Streets advocacy.
Trenton’s policy, adopted in 2012, was written and refined in a collaborative process involving the city planning staff; Peter Kremer of Parsons Brinckerhoff; Laura Torchio of Bike & Walk Montclair; and the staff of New Jersey Future. The effort was championed by a broad cross-section of community members, led by Councilwoman Marge Caldwell-Wilson, who sponsored the resolution, and including the city planning staff, which was integral in building support for the policy within City Hall; the Partnership for Healthy Kids-Trenton; representatives of the Trenton Green Team; and Trenton Cycling Revolution, the city’s bicycle and pedestrian advocacy organization. Other groups supporting Trenton’s policy included Children’s Futures, City Smiles, City Works, Concerned Pastors & Ministers of Trenton, Isles, New Jersey Bike & Walk Coalition, Tri-State Transportation Campaign, Villa Park Civic Association, YMCA of Trenton, and the YWCA of Trenton.
“Our Complete Streets resolution will prioritize safety for everyone on Trenton’s streets, no matter if they are walking, bicycling, or driving, and regardless of their age or ability,” said Councilwoman Caldwell-Wilson. “I was happy to take the lead in supporting this important resolution; I am proud to see it recognized as one of the country’s best and I look forward to focusing on additional street improvements for Trenton’s residents.”
“As one of the many organizations involved in developing Trenton’s Complete Streets policy, we’re delighted to see the city receive this honor,” said New Jersey Future Executive Director Peter Kasabach. “We hope it will serve as a model for other municipalities throughout the state, and encourage them to implement their own Complete Streets initiatives.
“This strong policy will be very useful as the city works with the county to improve South Broad Street between the Arena and Mill Hill Park,” he continued. “This stretch of road can become more bike- and pedestrian-friendly, more supportive of small businesses and economic development and safer for everyone.”
“Trenton’s policy is strong because it included required action steps to get it implemented, explicitly directing the distribution of an explanatory memorandum, designating staff responsibility and establishing implementation deadlines,” said Dan Fatton, New Jersey Future’s former director of development and outreach and current chairman of Trenton Cycling Revolution, who was one of the primary authors of the policy. “But more importantly, Trenton’s policy is strong because so many partners voiced support for the concept of complete streets in our city.”
Through an arrangement with the Partnership for Healthy Kids-Trenton, the city brought in certified Complete Streets trainers to educate staff and other stakeholders on the meaning of the policy and what steps various parties would need to take to ensure successful implementation.
“Shortly after that training, we forged another partnership, with the Trenton Downtown Association, to focus on streetscape improvements. Our community partnership continues to focus on making real changes to the streets in Trenton so everyone, but especially kids, have a safe space to walk and bike,” said Marissa Davis, project manager for the Partnership for Healthy Kids-Trenton.
“Trenton’s policy should be a national standard,” said Stefanie Seskin, deputy director of the National Complete Streets Coalition. “It takes a strong stand for everyone who uses our streets, including people young and old, walking, driving, or bicycling, riding a bus or out shopping.
“This award is partly about recognizing Trenton’s leadership on this issue. It’s also about showing other cities what a great Complete Streets policy looks like. Trenton has done that extremely well.”
Complete Streets policies help make sure everyone—regardless of age, ability, income, or ethnicity, and no matter how they travel—can get around safely and conveniently. In many cities that means changing how roads and sidewalks are designed and built, to be “complete” streets.
See the full list of this year’s Complete Streets policies and learn more about what makes a great Complete Streets policy at www.smartgrowthamerica.org/complete-streets-2012-analysis.