Completing streets will take (lots of) time

Don’t expect to drive, pedal down or walk along complete streets in Cedar Rapids or other Linn County communities for a while. It could be five years or more before that sort of project might be funded.

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned getting an update on development of a complete streets policy. I sent these questions to Adam Lindenlaub, long-range planning coordinator for the Corridor MPO:

  • When do you anticipate presenting a recommended “complete streets policy” to the Corridor MPO for approval?
  • How soon might such a policy result in actual changes that we will see on our streets?
  • How would you characterize the importance of such a policy to our community’s growth?

Adam’s responses:

My professional opinion is that a Complete Streets policy can be used as a tool to increase the connectivity of a street network by providing streets that are safe and usable for all types of users, whether they are on foot, bike, or vehicle and at every income level. Such a street makes if easier for pedestrians to travel for work and leisure and allows for goods and services to maneuver the network to their destination. This in turn provides a more inviting place for people to live and businesses to locate.

I would estimate that a Complete Streets policy would come before Corridor MPO sometime in 2009. … Corridor MPO is currently developing a draft Context Sensitive Design Solutions policy. Work on a Complete Streets policy will follow after. These policies would only apply to projects receiving funding through Corridor MPO. The hope is that the member jurisdictions would see the benefit to these policies and use them on all of their projects regardless of who is providing the funding. The best estimate of when you would see examples of these policies in practice for a Corridor MPO funded project would be 2013 at the soonest. And that would be when the funding would be available for a project that was required to abide by those policies. Actual construction could be several years after that depending on the size and cost of the project.

Information about the Corridor MPO is readily available at Its meetings are open to the public. Next one is Nov. 20. Details on that website.

Pedal on.

P.S. The … was just a reference to a previous email.


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