McCarthy-Vahey promotes Complete Streets and economic development

Representative Cristin McCarthy Vahey (D-Fairfield) met with a group of professionals and stakeholders to discuss and promote the implementation of Complete Streets designs in and between Fairfield and Bridgeport. Rep. McCarthy Vahey is working in collaboration with the towns and the state to help make local implementation more effective.

“This meeting was a tremendous opportunity for various stakeholders to come together to discuss current and future projects, including the already approved Kings Highway improvements,” Rep. McCarthy Vahey said.

Complete Streets is a policy and design approach that requires streets to be planned, designed, operated, and maintained to enable safe travel and access for users of all ages and abilities regardless of their mode of transportation. Complete Streets allow for safe travel by those walking, bicycling, driving automobiles, riding public transportation, or delivering goods.

The participants included Fairfield Town Engineer Bill Hurley, Clean Energy Task Force Chair Scott Thompson, Fairfield Bike and Pedestrian Committee Chair Keith Gallinelli, Jacob Robinson of the City of Bridgeport, members of the Bike and Pedestrian Committee, and Fairfield’s Economic Development Commission.

The group discussed the status of the current Kings Highway corridor improvements, as well as potential for collaboration along the Bridgeport/Fairfield border at Park Avenue.

Rep. McCarthy Vahey discussed Senate Bill #802  that encourages the creation of bikeways and bike lanes, seeks to allow bicyclists to determine how far to the right they can safely ride, and clarifies how motor vehicles are allowed to pass cyclists.  The bill is currently on the Senate Calendar awaiting action.

“This bill allows for greater flexibility in the creation of bicycling infrastructure and improves safety for today’s cyclists, commuters, recreational riders, children and the elderly,” Rep. McCarthy Vahey said. “This measure complements the Complete Streets approach and will also contribute to increased safety and positive economic development as evidenced in other states.”

According to Smart Growth America, an advocate group for people who want to live and work in great neighborhoods, in communities where Complete Streets designs have been implemented:

• Pedestrian risk was reduced by 28%

• In 9th Avenue NYC, there has been 49% increase in commercial revenue and a 49% decrease in commercial vacancies

• In San Francisco, there has been a 60% commercial revenue increase

• In a five-state study, walking has increased by 45%

“I look forward to the continued work to implement the Complete Streets approaches in Connecticut and increased collaboration between cities and towns,” Rep. McCarthy Vahey added. “The positive results have been consistent across the country and I am sure we will see the same in our state.”

Representative Cristin McCarthy Vahey (D-Fairfield) met with  participants including Fairfield Town Engineer Bill Hurley, Clean Energy Task Force Chair Scott Thompson, Fairfield Bike and Pedestrian Committee Chair Keith Gallinelli, Jacob Robinson of the City of Bridgeport, members of the Bike and Pedestrian Committee, and Fairfield’s Economic Development Commission.

Representative Cristin McCarthy Vahey (D-Fairfield) met with participants including Fairfield Town Engineer Bill Hurley, Clean Energy Task Force Chair Scott Thompson, Fairfield Bike and Pedestrian Committee Chair Keith Gallinelli, Jacob Robinson of the City of Bridgeport, members of the Bike and Pedestrian Committee, and Fairfield’s Economic Development Commission.

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