GOSHEN – Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus has announced the Legislature has unanimously approved a Complete Streets Policy, encouraging safer roads and pathways in Orange County.
This initiative, said Neuhaus, is part of the ongoing collaboration among the County’s Departments of Health, Planning and Public Works to improve transportation-related elements of projects that involve County property. This can include new construction and as well as retrofitting and upgrades to existing roads and facilities.
A Complete Street is a roadway planned and designed to consider the safe, convenient access and mobility of roadway users of all ages and abilities, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and transit riders. Each Complete Street is unique, but common elements may include bus shelters, pavement markings, bike lanes, bump outs (curb extensions), pedestrian control signals, crosswalks and sidewalks.
“Complete Street designed roadways offer a safe and accessible transportation network for our residents,” Neuhaus said. “Future improvements such as these will help better connect visitors and residents to Orange County neighborhoods and communities. Maintaining the health and structural integrity of our bridges and roads is essential to public safety, travel, and economic growth in Orange County.”
Added Planning Commissioner David Church, “Building this type of infrastructure provides a safer and more connected network of opportunities for County residents and visitors. Giving residents better access to transportation modes while improving air quality and increasing safety, all help to encourage more physical activity and community engagement.”
According to a National Complete Streets Coalition report in 2016, local governments throughout the U.S. have passed Complete Streets policies, following guidance from Federal and State transportation leaders. New York State passed the Complete Streets Act in August 2011, requiring state, county and local agencies to consider the Complete Streets practices when developing transportation projects that receive state and federal funding.
“Whether it is to be physically active, reduce costs associated with travel, or make it easier to get to work, this Complete Streets Policy reinforces our commitment to improve safety and accessibility throughout the County for all people” said Orange County Legislator Katie Bonelli, Chairwoman of the Orange County Rules, Enactments and Intergovernmental Relations Committee.
Additional information about Complete Streets and the Orange County Complete Streets Policy can be found at this website: orangecountygov.com/completestreets.