In May 2016, the Town of Brookline made a formal commitment to safer streets that work for everyone by passing a Complete Streets policy. On June 8th, this policy was named one of the top policies in the nation.
The Best Complete Streets Policies of 2016, the latest annual ranking from Smart Growth America’s National Complete Streets Coalition, released on June 8th, evaluated over 220 Complete Streets policies passed in 2016. Nationwide, Brookline’s policy was ranked #3, receiving a scoreof 96.8 out of 100 possible points.
“Brookline is proud to be ranked so highly by Smart Growth America,” said Neil Wishinsky, Chairman of the Brookline Board of Selectmen. “By adopting a Complete Streets policy, Brookline is taking a proactive approach to creating safe and accessible streets and developing multi-modal transportation options for our residents, whether they walk, bike, take public transportation, or drive. The policy gives special consideration to those who are more vulnerable because of age, ability, or because they are traveling on foot or by bike,” he added.
The Town’s Complete Streets Policy was developed by the Complete Streets Study Committee (CSSC) with staff support from the Department of Public Works and the Planning & Community Development Department. The committee, Co-Chaired by Selectman Wishinsky and Transportation Board member Scott Englander, developed the policy after examining industry best practices and meeting with Town staff, boards, commissions, and other interested parties to ensure it met the needs of Brookline residents.
“With this recognition, Brookline’s Complete Streets Policy becomes a best practice model for other communities around the country,” said Transportation Board member and CSSC Co-Chair Scott Englander. “The policy aims to improve quality of life and the environment, and improve social equity by creating a low-stress network of public spaces and streets that incorporate trees,plants, and creative design to connect residential areas, parks, businesses, and schools,” added Englander.
In support of the Commonwealth’s Healthy Transportation Policy, and in response to the establishment of Massachusetts General Law Chapter 90I, through Chapter 79 of the Acts of 2014 (Transportation Bond Bill), the Massachusetts Department of Transportation established a funding program to encourage municipalities to regularly and routinely include Complete Streets design elements and infrastructure on locally-funded roads. The Town of Brookline will complete its Prioritization Plan this fall to become eligible to apply for state funding for construction of Complete Street projects.
About Smart Growth America
Smart Growth America is the only national organization dedicated to researching, advocating for, and leading coalitions to bring better development to more communities nationwide. From providing more sidewalks to ensuring more homes are built near public transportation or that productive farms remain a part of our communities, smart growth helps make sure people across the nation can live in great neighborhoods.