- Complete actions outlined in the Complete Streets Plan.
- Healthy street design is local government policy
Streets are a vital part of livable, attractive communities. Everyone, regardless of age, ability, income, race or ethnicity, should have safe, comfortable and convenient access to community destinations and public places—whether walking, driving, bicycling or taking public transportation. The city has a long-standing commitment to pedestrian and bicycle-friendly infrastructure, which reduces transportation-related GHG emissions, reduces traffic congestion, promotes a healthier lifestyle for Clearwater residents, and creates community cohesion. Providing sidewalks, trails, and bike lanes along city streets is a matter of policy for the city.
According to Smart Growth America, Complete Streets are, “designed and operated to prioritize safety, comfort, and access to destinations for all people who use the street, especially people who have experienced systemic underinvestment or whose needs have not been met through a traditional transportation approach”. The city has made significant progress on its complete streets efforts since City Council approved the original Greenprint in 2011. Multiple trails were constructed to connect larger trails, and trail users can now travel all the way from Tampa to Clearwater Beach. A transportation planner position was created in 2016 to focus on the future of the city’s transportation and a Complete Streets Advisory Committee was also established to review future plans.
Many residents from the Skycrest Neighborhood worked with city staff to secure a state grant for the Skycrest Complete Streets project in 2018. The intent of the project is to balance accessibility for all modes of transportation, enhance safety, and to encourage economic revitalization and reinvestment along Drew Street and surrounding neighborhoods. Most recently, Clearwater’s city council approved the Complete Streets Implementation Plan to achieve appropriate, active, and safe streets. Such streets can occur by analyzing the types of land uses (residential, commercial, industrial, public, and so on) within an area and understanding how the surrounding streets can be re-designed to meet the mobility needs of people who use them.
According to the article, “Street Design Guidelines for Healthy Neighborhoods”, by Dan Burden of Walkable Communities, Inc., healthy streets are, “networks of roadways and connector trails in communities designed primarily for use by people, not just motorized vehicles.” Such streets are designed for motorists to feel comfortable operating at low speeds. Low traffic volume and low noise, easy access, and multiple routes to destinations are also features. Pedestrian and bicycle movements are favored.” The city of Clearwater will implement healthy street design principles as part of local government policy. The city will also consider the 12 Steps of Walkable Communities according to the Florida Department of Transportation Pedestrian and Bicycle Program and the Street Design Guidelines for Healthy Neighborhoods from Walkable Communities, Inc. in formulating new strategies and policy, and in daily operations.