NAPLES, Fla. (Jan. 15, 2018) –On January 8, Collier County Commission approved a Complete Streets Resolution, joining 69 municipalities that have adopted Complete Streets Policies in Florida.
Complete Streets are streets for all people and modes of transportation. Complete Streets are roadways designed for the safety and convenience of drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians alike of all ages and abilities. Complete streets make it easy to cross the street, walk to shops, and bicycle to work. This policy will allow transportation and land use planners to thoughtfully consider all modalities in new projects and resurfacing projects based on the context and use of the street. According to the Complete Streets Coalition, more than 1,140 local, regional, and state level agencies in the United States have adopted complete street policies since 2004. Complete Streets Policies help build communities where people can age in place, improve safety, improve health, and reduce isolation.
Blue Zones Project- Southwest Florida has a committee dedicated to promoting health in built- environment policies within Collier County. Blue Zones Project Policy Specialist, Jessica Crane worked closely with Collier County staff on this initiative and stated, “We continue to recognize that the built environment influences individual action which in turn can impact human health and well-being. Therefore, I want to commend staff and the Commissioners for passing this important resolution. This policy will hopefully go a long way in creating a healthier, safer, and more equitable county for current and future generations.”
Naples Pathway Coalition and their members are long-time supporters of Complete Streets Policies. Michelle Avola, executive director of Naples Pathway Coalition stated, “Our community is made up of pedestrians, cyclists and motorists and our roadways need to better accommodate all road users. This policy resolution is an important step in making this happen. Follow through with the planning and design of future road improvements that truly adhere to Complete Streets guidelines will be even more important.”
Pursuing a Complete Streets Policy is also in the Community Health Improvement Program put out by the Department of Health in Collier County. Public health departments across the country are now looking at the need for systemic built-environment changes to improve the obesity epidemic. Reggie Wilson, healthy communities coordinator for the Collier County Department of Health stated, “To reverse the U.S. obesity epidemic we need a coordinated approach to environmental change in order support and promote healthy lifestyle choices. By enhancing safety where people are physically active, this will encourage people to walk, bike, or use public transportation when traveling for work, school or recreation.”