|Town of Plattsburgh Planning Department Head Phil VanBargen speaks about the Complete Streets concept at the Sidewalks Safety Community Forum. |
© 2015 Luke T. Bush
PLATTSBURGH CITY, NY – Tues., 03/10/15
The concept is simple. Design and build streets that provide
equal access for all citizens: motorists, cyclists, pedestrians, etc.
The concept is complex.
Details like making needed changes while strapped for funds.
Town of Plattsburgh Planning Department Head Phil VanBargen discussed
the Complete Streets concept at the Sidewalks Safety Community Forum held at
"The concept of Complete Streets,” he explained,” is
to make our streets usable and safe for all users, regardless of their age,
their ability, their mobility, or mode of their mobility."
Phiop upl shared his viewpoint on the concept, his reasons for
promoting all access roadways.
"My daughter was born with
cerebral palsy,” he said. "She's
mobile but challenged in her mobility. I [bring] to the job the idea of
encouraging the Town if Plattsburgh to work with the Complete Streets
He explained why many New York State localities faced a
classic dilemma. Under state legislation
passed a few years ago any street project in the state has to consider Complete
Streets. Unfortunately this legislative
piece had no money earmarked for it.
With this limitation Phil and other planners look for
ways to include Complete Streets aspects in new projects, working with what
funds are available. He spoke
about communities working together with the careful planning.
As an example he spoke about a section of Rugar Street that wasn’t
pedestrian friendly, a stretch that crossed from Plattsburgh City into
Plattsburgh Town. People walking to the
Stewarts Store had worn a pathway in the grass.
City and Town worked on improvements. The City extended the sidewalk on its part
and from the boundary line the Town widened the shoulders when repaving, giving
more room for pedestrians.
Phil also pointed to a private housing development on a
street off Rugar, Ampersand Drive. The
builders were including a sidewalk that led to Rugar, an example of a
Through such small solutions, he said, Complete Streets would
(Edited for clarity - 10:35 AM.)