Innovations Within Our Means Livable St. Louis Trevor Harris June 3, 2011
What are Livable Streets? Livable Streets are those streets that provide access to safe physical activity for everyone in the community regardless of their age or ability.
What are Livable Streets? Common elements of a livable street include: sidewalks, bicycle facilities, paved shoulders, transit connections, crosswalks, curb cuts, countdown timers and street trees.
Why do Livable Streets matter? Active communities are healthy communities. 30% of Missourians are now obese. (BRFSS). 25% get no physical activity beyond work. (BRFSS) Not all residents are able to or choose to drive. 40% of Missourians are not able to drive due to age or ability. (MCDC) Livability is a factor in a healthy economy. Businesses want to locate near a healthy work force. (Nat’l Assn of Realtors) Properties near trails sell for closer to their asking price. (Mass. Realtors Assn.)
Demand for Livable Streets Different polls indicate that 52% of Americans would like to bike more and 55% of Americans would like to drive less and walk more (STPP). However only 1% of federal transportation funding goes to building or maintaining pedestrian and bicycle facilities. Sources: America Bikes, STPP, NHTS and FARS federal databases.
Missouri Livable Streets A 2 year project funded by the CDC that aims to build support for livable streets across the state. Supports local citizen groups and advocates who are interested in advancing local livable streets. Provides trainings and technical assistance with livable streets policy adoption and implementation. Media campaign: Web, Facebook, Twitter, e-newsletter Media buys: target markets
Livable Streets Policy Elements Elements of a model livable streets policy include: Avision for how and why the community wants to complete its streets Specifies that ‘all users’ includes pedestrians, bicyclists and transit passengers of all ages and abilities, as well as trucks, buses and automobiles. Applies to both new and retrofit projects, including design, planning, maintenance, and operations, for the entire right of way. Makes any exceptions specific and sets a clear procedure that requires high-level approval of exceptions. Includes specific next steps for implementation of the policy. Modified from National Complete Streets Coalition, www.completestreets.org.
Missouri Communities with Livable/Complete Streets policies St. Louis City (2010) Kansas City (2011) De Soto (2008), Festus (2010), Crystal City (2010), Herculaneum (2010), and Pevely (2010) in Jefferson County, Ferguson (2008) in suburban St. Louis, Columbia (2004) Lee's Summit (2010) in suburban Kansas City, Elsberry (2010) in northeast Missouri. From Missouri Bicycle Federation, www.mobikefed.org
Coalition Building for Livable Streets Livable streets conversations occur in numerous venues and bring citizens together with enlightened traffic engineers, motivated public health practitioners, transportation planners, youth groups and more.
Low-cost programming can build support for livable streets. Examples include: Walking School Bus Bike Brigade Earn-a-Bike Projects Community Walks Walkability Assessments Numerous other examples exist for ways you can grow the constituency for livable streets on your block.
Livable Streets Advocacy Build or find the local livable streets coalition. Find allies in local bicyclists, pedestrians, seniors, youth, disability advocates and neighborhood groups. Talk to your council person about your support for livable streets. Agree on a common set of talking points such as health, access or community economic development benefits.