LIVERMORE -- A national smart growth advocacy group has recognized Livermore among its top 15 "model" communities for enacting safe and accessible transportation policies in 2013.
According to a report by Smart Growth America, Livermore ranked 11th out more than 80 communities adopting the "Complete Streets" approach last year, tied with neighboring Hayward.
Complete Streets requires cities and counties that are revising their general plan circulation elements to include planning for safe and convenient travel of pedestrians and bicyclists of all ages, people with disabilities and for public transportation. Smart Growth America graded each city for the strength of its policy language, lauding Livermore as an example for communities across the country.
"We were thrilled by the high ranking," said city transportation planner Debbie Bell. "We felt it was a strong policy that had full City Council support. It's really nice to see that we're doing as well as we thought we were."
Bell said by adopting the policy, the city will amend the general plan to include taking comprehensive looks at each new road project to address bicycle lanes, public transportation, pedestrian traffic and more. Not only did Livermore crack the top cities list, a photo of First Street -- which was reduced to two lanes and made more pedestrian-friendly -- provided the cover image for the organization's report.
"We've been doing this for years," Bell said. "It's just making a statement to the community that this is our commitment."
According to Smart Growth America, more than 610 jurisdictions in 27 states have adopted Complete Streets policies, including numerous California counties, cities and agencies. Alameda County is requiring all of its jurisdictions to incorporate Complete Streets standards into its planning strategies. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission also requires adoption of the policy as a prerequisite for receiving certain types of grants.
Contact Jeremy Thomas at 925-847-2184. Follow him at Twitter.com/jet_bang.
To view Smart Growth America's report, "The Best Complete Streets Policies of 2013," visit http://www.smartgrowthamerica.org/complete-streets-2013-analysis.