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Spa City hears plans for Complete Streets

Complete Streets proposal being considered for Saratoga would benefit
all modes of trasnsportation.

Complete Streets proposal being considered for Saratoga would benefit all modes of trasnsportation. Photo by Julie Cushine-Rigg.

— On Tuesday, April 17, the Saratoga Springs City Council heard about an opportunity to adopt a plan that proponents said would help all modes of transportation within and around the city.

There was general support for initiatives outlined in the Complete Streets Proposal, but the council decided to put the proposal to a vote in a meeting, perhaps in May.

If adopted, Saratoga will be the 50th Complete Streets Community, which is a countrywide effort under the National Complete Streets Coalition and is in line with the city’s Climate Smart Community Pledge, which was adopted in March.

“I am pleased to set the stage tonight for introduction of the Complete Streets draft policy for this council’s consideration. This is an idea that focuses on … ensuring that attention is paid to accommodate all users of all abilities including pedestrians, bicyclists … and transit riders,” said Mayor Scott Johnson. “In many ways this draft policy builds upon the vision of policies of the city that embrace and have been implemented over the years crating a vibrant sustainable place with a direct tie between land use and transportation. The timing now is quite opportune in this regard.”

For the Spa City, Shared Access Saratoga is spearheading the Complete Streets initiative, and has a growing list of members and supporters including Saratoga Hospital, Safe Routes to School, Sustainable Skidmore, Sustainable Saratoga and the city’s police department. The proposal took about nine months to draft.

The policy has four main immediate action items: to establish a shared access advisory board, to develop a Complete Streets checklist, to make information available on the city’s website and to recommend improvements to existing city policies.

New York state adopted a Complete Streets policy that went into effect in February that requires Complete Streets design guidelines be considered for planning design construction and reconstruction of roadways receiving federal or state funding. The Ballston Avenue project is an example and will be part of the Complete Streets.

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