The first of four statewide Complete Streets training workshops was held this past Wednesday at the Emory Hebard State Building in Newport.
Fifteen participants from a wide-variety of sectors and organizations learned about Vermont’s complete streets law and its effect on towns, seven steps to building complete streets, and resources and project examples to consult.
Following the training, attendee Jennifer Woolard a Public Health Specialist who works in the Newport office wrote in an email: “The training guided us through the steps that can be taken to incorporate complete streets into a variety of projects. By learning about complete streets and how to implement them in our city, we have the opportunity to create a safe and accessible transportation environment for everyone of all ages & abilities. The facilitators were thorough, engaging, and very energetic about this work and the work we have ahead of us.”
The morning training session was full of lively discussion and interaction among the class attendees who were able to bring experiences and perspectives from their backgrounds into the discussion. The principle underlying the Complete Streets concept is that state and town streets, roads and highways should safely accommodate all transportation user, regardless of age, ability, or what mode of transportation they prefer- walking, biking, driving or use of transit. The purpose of the Complete Streets Law is to ensure that the needs of all transportation system users are considered in all state and municipally managed transportation projects and project phases, including planning, development, construction, and maintenance, except in the case of projects or project components involving unpaved highways. The policy applies when new roads are being constructed, and when paved roads are being reconstructed, rehabilitated, or otherwise maintained.
Three additional sessions of this workshop will be held in the coming weeks: Jan. 29, in White River Junction, Feb. 5, in Burlington (waitlist), and Feb. 12, in Manchester. Registration is available online here.