Virginia Beach officials and local residents will meet with representatives from Smart Growth America on April 24 and 25 to discuss how to provide better transportation for everyone, regardless of age, ability, income, ethnicity or method of travel – a program known as Complete Streets.
The meeting is part of a free, grant-funded technical assistance program to give Virginia Beach the tools to create and implement a citywide Complete Streets policy.
“The City of Virginia Beach is looking forward to working with Smart Growth America,” said Mark Schnaufer, city transportation planning coordinator. “Together, we hope to develop a framework for making our city’s street network more accommodating for all users. While we have done well planning for the automobile, we want to find ways to make our roadways more accessible for pedestrians and cyclists. With the help of these transportation planning experts, we are taking the first step in developing streets that are compatible for everyone.”
Virginia Beach residents are invited to join the workshop’s first day for an introductory presentation, featuring a broad overview of Complete Streets. The event will be held Wednesday, April 24, from 7 to 9 p.m at the Renaissance Academy, 5100 Cleveland St.
“Smart Growth America is committed to providing training to help community leaders keep cities and towns livable, sustainable and vital places,” said Roger Millar, director of Smart Growth America’s Leadership Institute. "This workshop will give Virginia Beach a foundation of what a Complete Streets policy will mean to their city and how to effectively implement the policy. Virginia Beach has integrated smart growth strategies in their comprehensive planning for decades now, and the workshop will only add to the depth of their knowledge and allow them to continue to grow smart.”
In November 2012, Virginia Beach was one of 22 communities selected by Smart Growth America to participate in the free technical assistance program. Stretching from Maine to Washington State, these communities represent major cities, suburban centers and rural towns.
The program, made possible through a five-year Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Sustainable Communities, seeks to develop local planning solutions that help communities grow in ways that benefit families and businesses, while protecting the environment and preserving a sense of place.
As a national leader in the field, Smart Growth America has accumulated extensive experience working with communities to help them use land strategically, make the most of existing resources and invest strategically to catalyze private development.
Smart Growth America is the only national organization dedicated to researching, advocating for and leading coalitions to bring smart growth practices 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. For more information visit www.smartgrowthamerica.org.
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