Thursday, March 29, 2018

Bonita Springs exemplary complete streets work highlighted in national report

Congratulations to the City of Bonita Springs for being in the national spotlight as one of 12 communities across the country that were singled out in Smart Growth America's new report for their exemplary Complete Streets initiatives. It is gratifying to see one of the five agencies/municipalities in Lee County that adopted complete streets policies in 2009-2015, to have on-the-ground results from their successful implementation of their complete streets policies.  We hope to see other communities in Lee County recognized for exemplary complete streets work in the future.

This week Smart Growth America/National Complete Streets Coalition released its new annual report: The Best Complete Streets Initiatives of 2017.  We're excited that the City of Bonita Springs was one of the 12 communities selected nationwide to feature as doing exemplary work on implementing complete streets.  The write-up on Bonita's work highlights its Downtown Improvements Project, and starts with the following statement:  "Motivated to improve accessibility and safety in its downtown area, the City of Bonita Springs, FL worked with both the community and private sector to create a more people-friendly downtown area.  Through its Downtown Improvements Project, the city created a better connected street network for people walking, biking, and taking transit.  The city also incentivized development that promotes job growth and affordable housing."  (See p. 31-33 of the report for the full Bonita Springs write-up.

As the Director of the National Complete Streets Coalition stated in the report's introduction, "We hope that these stories will not only provide inspiration, but also spur other communities into action so that in 10 more years we are celebrating tangible and lasting changes to our streets, with the benefits extending to everyone."

Smart Growth America

The Best Complete Streets Initiatives of 2017

For the last month, we’ve been profiling one exemplary Complete Streets initiative each week. But now the full report from our National Complete Streets Coalition is out, highlighting 12 people and places doing exceptional work when it comes to making a tangible difference on building safer, more complete streets.
Unlike our usual annual report which grades and ranks policies, we took a different approach this year to celebrate a brand new framework for evaluating what makes a successful Complete Streets policy. The new policy framework, which will be used to grade all policies passed in 2018, moves beyond merely passing a policy and puts a greater emphasis on equity and implementation, reflecting the progress that the Complete Streets movement has made over the last decade.
The 12 communities and people highlighted in the report reflect this more ambitious and effective approach. Congratulations to everyone who had a role in these 12 initiatives and to all the other communities that have passed Complete Streets policies in the last year.

Link to full report:  The Best Complete Streets Initiatives of 2017 by National Complete Streets Coalition/Smart Growth America.

Link to information on the Downtown Improvements Project, found on the City's website.

BWL Blog, July 16, 2015: Kudos to Bonita Springs City Council on approval of downtown redevelopment design.

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