VIDEO. The City Council will consider awarding a contract for design and environmental review for the Poplar Complete Street Project at its upcoming meeting, and the community is invited to attend.
The agenda, staff report, and attachments can be downloaded here. This discussion will be about awarding the design contract for this project. It will not include discussion of the specifics of any actual design elements – that aspect will be part of the community discussions that will take place as the project moves forward. The design contract includes the requirement to provide ample opportunity for interested community members to participate, offer input and ideas, and be part of the design process. There have been several community input opportunities over the last year, which have helped to bring the project to this point.
What are “Complete Streets?”
The concept of Complete Streets means ensuring a community’s streets are suitable for everyone – that the streets are designed and operated to enable safe access for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and transit riders, of all ages and all abilities. These are streets where it’s easy and safe to cross, convenient for walking to and from destinations, and comfortable to bicycle.
Each street is unique, with its own Community Context
In general, Complete Streets can include improvements to travel lanes, shoulders, pedestrian walkways, safe crossing opportunities, traffic calming measures, or other elements. But of course each street is unique, and there is no singular design that works for all.
A Complete Street in a rural or beach community – like here, on Poplar Street – will be quite different than one in a highly urbanized area. The common element is that the streets are designed to balance safety and convenience for everyone using the road, in response to that roadway’s community context.
The community context is of critical importance – and as this project moves forward, the City’s intent is to:
- Preserve the unique characteristics of the Poplar community, including the heritage trees that are integral to the look and feel of the neighborhood
- Increase access for non-motorized users, by providing local students, residents, and visitors the opportunity to travel between the Beach and Downtown without necessarily having to use a car – which can reduce the number vehicles on the road
- Reduce the speeds on Poplar with traffic calming measures that can help enhance the existing characteristics that give the street its charm
- Protect our environment by incorporating “green infrastructure” to reduce stormwater runoff to our bluffs, reducing the erosion rates, as well as protecting our air by promoting alternative transportation and reducing greenhouse gas emissions
Poplar Beach is a preferred destination for locals and visitors alike, and the use of Poplar Street is likely to continue to increase. By making improvements that will help shift the preferred mode of transportation from cars to walking and biking, the community will see the benefits of enhanced roadway safety, while preserving the unique look and feel of Poplar Street and the surrounding neighborhood.