Complete Streets shares ideas for city policies

The policy group Complete Streets made a presentation Wednesday night to discuss more accessible streets in Lawrence.

“A Complete Streets policy establishes a way to accommodate all users in the public right of way,” said Carol Kachadoorian, a senior planner for Complete Streets. “A policy would result in redistributing that public right of way to provide adequate and safe and comfortable transportation facilities for all users.”

The Lawrence Douglas County Metropolitan Planning Organization, the city of Lawrence and the LiveWell Lawrence Initiative sponsored the presentation in hopes of including ideas in future developments.

“Complete Streets is a set of principles … about designing and building and maintaining streets so that it’s safe and accessible for all users,” said Todd Girdler, the city’s senior transportation planner, “whether you’re in a car, on a bicycle, walking or riding transit.”

About 30 people gathered in the City Commission room to hear what Kachadoorian had to say. She said Complete Streets provides a guideline for communities, like Lawrence, that want to move forward with health-minded development.

“Lawrence, Kansas, seems to be a place that wants to improve walking and biking conditions for the folks that live here and visit,” Kachadoorian said. “This is the beginning of a communitywide dialogue about how Lawrence will achieve that.”

Kachadoorian and another representative from Complete Streets will host a workshop Thursday with a group of city stakeholders. They will discuss current and future transportation policies and how Lawrence plans to move ahead with that information.

“We need to make sure all users (of transportation) are accommodated in new construction,” Girdler said. “Eventually we’ll get policies that match up with that more, and we’ll be on our way.”

“This is the beginning of a conversation that will result in something good for the community,” Kachadoorian added.