MINNEAPOLIS (May 27, 2016) — The Minneapolis City Council on Friday unanimously adopted a Complete Streets policy, which will support safer streets for everyone. The policy states: “Minneapolis is committed to rebalancing its transportation network by clearly prioritizing walking, taking transit, and biking over driving motorized vehicles, in a manner that provides for acceptable levels of service for all modes.”
“One thing we all have in common is that we are all pedestrians at some point,” said Greta Alquist, chair of the Minneapolis Pedestrian Advisory Committee. “Even people who drive spend some of their time as pedestrians. The Complete Streets Policy makes it very clear that here in Minneapolis, we put the safety and comfort of pedestrians first.”
Minneapolis joins more than 30 other cities and counties in Minnesota and more than 700 around the country with Complete Streets policies.
“The Minneapolis Complete Streets policy is undoubtedly one of the best in the country and will improve the safety of streets and quality of life of residents for decades to come,” said Nick Mason, Chair of the Minneapolis Bicycle Advisory Committee.
The Minneapolis Complete Streets policy was developed by staff working closely with policy makers and stakeholders from diverse community interests, including walking, biking, freight, people with disabilities, businesses, schools, health, and MnDOT.
“The availability of accessible road design, walkability, transportation options, and supportive services are critical to supporting people as they age,” said Will Phillips of AARP Minnesota. “Minneapolis is on the leading edge of designing and maintaining communities to ensure they are active places where residents of all ages can participate fully. We commend the City Council for adopting the Complete Streets policy.”
Minneapolis has the second most bicycle commuters of any large city in the country and is in the top 10 for walk commuters as well. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 60,000 Minneapolitans regularly walk, bike, or take transit to work while everyone relies on walking or rolling to get to their final destination. Biking and walking have seen the most rapid growth of any way to get around in Minneapolis. There were 170 percent more bicycle commuters in 2014 than in 2000, and 30 percent more walk commuters.
“Streets, sidewalks, and bikeways are a critical part of allowing people to live heart-healthy lives,” said Rachel Callanan of the American Heart Association. “Thank you to the City of Minneapolis for moving forward on Complete Streets to improve public health.”
While Minneapolis streets have been getting safer, there were still 7 people killed and 4,225 people injured in 11,118 reported crashes on Minneapolis streets in 2014, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.
“It’s great that more and more people are walking, biking, and taking transit in Minneapolis,” added Andrew Coldwell, Sierra Club North Star Chapter Land Use and Transportation Committee Chair. “This Complete Streets policy is critical to supporting that continued growth in a safe and smart way.”
“Minneapolis has shown that investment in walking, biking, and transit improvements yield big returns,” said Ethan Fawley of the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition. “We are elated to see Complete Streets clarify the City’s prioritization of walking, biking, and transit for the future of our great city.”