Two national experts will be in Lawrence this week to discuss the benefits of making streets designed for everyone.
Darren Smith and Cynthia Hoyle, both of the National Complete Streets Coalition, will speak during public meetings Thursday from 2-3:30 p.m. at the Community Health Facility, 200 Maine St., and 7-8:30 p.m. at the Lawrence Senior Center, 745 Vermont St.
The Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department is sponsoring the meetings to promote public involvement in the implementation of the Lawrence Complete Streets Policy that was adopted in March 2012. "Complete streets" are designed to enable safe access for all users — pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders.
Over the past month, the health department has collected information from about 200 older adults, through surveys and focus group discussions, about the ways they stay active and the barriers they face when they are walking, bicycling and using transportation. Among the challenges: poorly maintained sidewalks and lack of connectivity between multi-use pathways. The findings will be discussed during the meetings, and community members will have the opportunity to weigh in on the challenges they face.
Smith, a Lawrence native who lives in Washington, D.C., is a policy representative for the National Association of Realtors. Hoyle, a consultant for transportation planning in Urbana, Ill., has more than 30 years of planning experience at the local, state and national levels and is chair of the Champaign-Urbana Safe Routes to School Project.