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Making Complete Streets a Reality in Your Community

By Gail R. Kinard, Palmetto Public Affairs, LLC

In a recent article, we provided a little history of our current roadway systems, noting that the importance of automobiles in our lives has dictated the way roads have been constructed in the past.

However, today there is increasing recognition that this conventional way of designing streets might not necessarily be the optimal “path” for the future.  The concept of Complete Streets provides a different way of looking at roadways, with an emphasis on providing accommodations not just for automobiles, but for transit riders, joggers, pedestrians, wheelchair users, bicyclists, and others.  Complete Streets involves a recognition that other factors need to be taken into account when planning roadways, taking into consideration those who want to travel by foot or bicycle.

Eat Smart Move More South Carolina recognizes the importance of Complete Streets as an important component in providing an environment where individuals can get and stay physically active.  And, we’d like to ask you to help us spread this “movement” around the state.

Some local communities have already recognized that their citizens want Complete Streets implemented where they live, work, and play.  Cities such as Greenville, Columbia, Spartanburg and Anderson have passed resolutions supporting Complete Streets in their communities. Several counties, including Richland, Colleton, and Anderson have passed similar resolutions.

In order to build upon these success stories, we need you to become actively involved in advocating for Complete Streets in your community.  With your support we can let our local elected officials know that having safe places to bike and walk are important to us and to our quality of life.  Elected officials need to hear from you that this is an issue that you care about and want to see addressed in your community.

Take five minutes today or tomorrow and send a hand-written note or email to your city or county council member.  Or call them at their office and let them know that you want to live in a community where you can walk and bike safely for exercise or to get from place to place.  Ask your neighbors to join you in this effort.  Tell your elected official that these improvements can improve the quality of life in your town.

Join us in growing a Complete Streets movement in S.C.  To learn more about how you can make a difference in your community, please contact