StreetsblogNY is reporting that green streets legislation has unanimously passed both houses of the New York State legislature recently, and is expected to be signed in to law by Governor Cuomo shortly.
According to their summary, “Complete streets legislation would require planners to take account of all users, including those on foot, on a bicycle, or with limited mobility, when designing a road that receives state or federal funds.”A complete street can be a slippery concept, and — like every other interested party — we have our own ideas of what the most important elements of any endorsed design principles should be. It’s my understanding that trees and other green things are not, substantively, at the core of the complete streets legislation. This is not surprising. We see trees as integral to any effort to improve the usability, functionality, and sustainability of cities, but so are things like transportation, housing, and commerce. Certainly trees aren’t where the majority of the money or political will is focused.
Still, legislation like this is very positive. It highlights how increasingly accepted the concept of complete streets has become, and it clears the way for developers and designers to push new and more effective design solutions. We’re hopeful that the complete street philosophy will continue to evolve and place an increasing emphasis on trees and other green things as it goes.
Image: Complete Streets