Congratulations to Memphis, TN For Passing the Nation's 500th Complete Streets Policy

Christy SmithThis August, Memphis, Tennessee was honored by the National Complete Streets Coalition for adopting the Nation's 500th Complete Streets Policy. The Safe Routes to School National Partnership's Tennessee Network sent a letter to Mayor Wharton of Memphis, congratulating him on the honor and for leading the efforts for Complete Streets in Memphis.  The letter was published in the Memphis Commercial Appeal on August 17. For more information on Complete Streets or to join the Tennessee Network, contact christy@saferoutespartnership.org.

Dear Mayor Wharton:

On behalf of over 200 non-profit, health, school, businesses and government partners across the state of Tennessee, the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, Tennessee Network congratulates the city of Memphis, for the distinction given by the National Complete Streets Coalition, on passing the country’s 500th Complete Street policy. Complete Streets polices are an important aspect of the Tennessee Network, as our mission is to advocate for safe walking and bicycling to and from school, and in daily life, to improve the health and well-being of America's students and to foster the creation of livable, sustainable communities. Complete Streets improve safety by providing dedicated facilities for pedestrians and bicyclists, helping to make it safer for our children to walk, bike and be more physically active.  We know active kids do better and Complete Streets are a critical strategy for Safe Routes to School.

Adoption of Memphis’ Complete Street policy comes from the hard work and dedication of walking and bicycling advocate groups, like Bike/Walk Tennessee as well as local leaders in health, education, business, the staff who work with the Memphis Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator and non-profits like Liveable Memphis who are working to make Memphis an even greater place to live. Mayor Wharton, the Safe Routes to School National Partnership applauds your leadership in these efforts. 

The Complete Streets policy adds to a growing list of achievements that are making Memphis more active and healthier including: bike lanes on 51 miles of city streets during the last two years, 15 miles of protected "green lanes" that will be added in the next two years and a two-way protected cycle track project that will connect Overton Park to the Shelby Farms Greenline, to name a few.  Additionally, the approval of the four-year short-range plan by the policy board of the Memphis Metropolitan Planning Organization that includes $11 million dedicated for bicycle and pedestrian projects will help to continue the momentum of the Complete Streets policy.

Many other cities in Tennessee have passed Complete Streets policies, and Memphis’s adoption of the 500th policy in the country provides new inspiration and encouragement to advance policies across Tennessee.  We look forward to more great things from Memphis with the knowledge that you will continue to support all modes of transportation across your city to improve the quality of life for children, families and the entire community. 

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