On Friday Mayor Sally Hutton sent in the City’s official public response to INDOT’s proposed renovation of U.S 27. This phase of development starts near the Whitewater River near the Old Reid Hospitals and continues south through town. On behalf of the City, she asked INDOT for a new proposal, one based on Complete Streets principles that produce streets that work for everyone including pedestrians and cyclists. A new proposal could address serious concerns with the current proposal which would speed up traffic as it enters downtown, as well as leaving a major gap in our recommended bike route network.
The City’s response turns to be directly in line with a new policy released by the United States Department of Transportation on March 11th. Here’s an excerpt from the new federal transportation policy:
“The DOT policy is to incorporate safe and convenient walking and
bicycling facilities into transportation projects. Every transportation
agency, including DOT, has the responsibility to improve conditions and
opportunities for walking and bicycling and to integrate walking and
bicycling into their transportation systems. Because of the numerous
individual and community benefits that walking and bicycling provide —
including health, safety, environmental, transportation, and quality of
life — transportation agencies are encouraged to go beyond minimum
standards to provide safe and convenient facilities for these modes.”
Although the City of Richmond and the Federal Government are on the same page this, we still need public support to bring this message to INDOT so they can revise the design. Please visit this petition by March 18th to view the City’s full response to INDOT as well as signing the petition of support: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/2/complete-streets-richmond-indiana
I will compile the final petition result into my own public comment. Thank you, and please spread the word!