Creating Momentum for Complete Streets in Prince George's County, Maryland
Recently, staff and elected leaders of nine municipalities from Prince George’s County and one from Wicomico County attended a National Complete Streets Coalition workshop to learn more about the steps needed to write, adopt, and implement an effective Complete Streets policy. The workshop sought to bring together multiple communities in order to capitalize on the strong network of cities and towns in the county, and create a network for peer support as communities work to adopt Complete Streets policies.
The State of Maryland and Prince George’s County both have Complete Streets policies. Most of the communities in the county have state and county roads within their boundaries and some do not own any of their roads. The workshop attendees indicated they wanted their policies to align with the state and county policies. A Complete Streets policy will help these communities clearly articulate their commitment to multi-modal travel when the state and county undertake roadwork in their jurisdictions.
Also discussed was the importance for a pedestrian or bicyclist to have the ability to easily travel from one community to another. For example, Mt. Rainier is known for public art and Hyattsville has an abundance of restaurants. These communities are adjacent to one another, but there is currently not a pleasant or safe way to walk or bicycle between them. Adopting Complete Streets policies will aid the communities in creating a multi-jurisdictional network that facilitates safe and easy travel for bicyclists and pedestrians.
The workshop was co-hosted by the Greater Washington DC Safe Routes to School Network and the HEAL Cities and Towns Campaign of the Mid-Atlantic. Taking advantage of their related missions, the greater Washington DC network and the HEAL Cities and Towns Campaign were able to support communities with a pre-workshop Complete Streets 101 webinar. The communities will also be provided with technical assistance conference calls and webinars to ensure they have the support they need for policy adoption.
Partnerships, both in hosting the workshop and in policy adoption, are a key outcome of the Complete Streets workshop. We look forward to many of these communities adopting Complete Streets policies in the future, and improving safety for walking and bicycling in Prince George’s County and the cities and towns within the county.