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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.

— Part of Tuesday’s regular council meeting gave the public a chance to voice opinions on the proposal, which at its heart aims to give equal access for bicyclists, motorists and walkers. There was standing room only and the crowd spilled into the hallway outside the meeting room, with advocates from the AARP, the Southwest Neighborhood Association and others groups gathered.

The City Council also received many letters in support of the policy, according to Mayor Johnson.

Tobin Alexander-Young got involved about five years, having picked the movement up from a few predecessors, including Ian Klepetar, a popular figure among biking enthusiasts.

“Everyone becomes a pedestrian the moment we get out of our vehicles or leave our homes. In that way this Complete Streets policy that we have created specifically speaks to each and every one of us in the room tonight,” said Alexander-Young. “Legally speaking … we’re moving toward a more organized sharing.”

The proposal creates a framework for cultural change as Saratoga and many other cities look to accommodate greener ways of getting around.

Erin Mitchell, AARP’s associate state director of community outreach for Saratoga, said her senior-oriented organization is on board.

“AARP along with the coalition here, we support Complete Streets initiatives, not only in Saratoga but throughout our state. As many folks have said here, having a Complete Streets policy only enhances and encourages people to come and live here, work and travel to Saratoga Springs. Over half of the over 65 population doesn’t drive … this makes roadways safer for all users.”

For more information on Complete Streets, visit the city’s website at www.saratoga-springs.org.

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