State Transportation Presentation in Keene on October 20

Attend the State Transportation Presentation

From Tara Germond, Southwest Region Planning Commission & MRTMA

Where:  Keene Recreation Center

When:  Thursday, October 20, 2011 at 7:00 pm

What:  Hear a presentation on the State’s plan for investing in transportation infrastructure and operations over the next Ten Years and offer your feedback and ask questions.  Ten Year Plan Information

Why:  MRTMA stakeholders may be interested in attending these events as it involves how funding is spent on all modes of transportation in the State.  Here’s a glimpse of SWRPC’s analysis on how the plan will affect our highways and bridges as well as bike, ped and transit modes:

  •  Federal funding for highway and bridge infrastructure is not planned to be matched with new state cash, but instead with Turnpike toll credits previously invested in the state’s Turnpike.  The result is that our state will not be leveraging $30 million per biennium.
  • The State plans to transfer 50% of federal funding from popular bike and ped programs such as the Transportation Enhancement program towards highway and bridge needs.
  • Recently, New Hampshire has transferred $1.6 million ($800,00 per year) of “flexible” highway funding towards providing transit services.  The plan discontinues this funding transfer so that funding can meet shortfalls in other parts of the transportation budget.  The Monadnock Region has received a portion of this funding and using the funding to provide 5,700 more additional trips for people that need a ride in our Region per year.
  • The construction of an important multi-use bridge proposed in Keene, “South Bridge”, has been deferred from 2013 to 2021

Complete Streets Resolution for Keene Submitted to City Clerk

This week, the Complete Streets Resolution for the City of Keene was submitted to the City Council.  Along with this resolution, we sent a list of 224 community supporters of Complete Streets.  We’ll be sure to keep you posted on the resolution’s progress.  Thank you for ALL of your support!

Dear City Councilors:

I am writing to request that the City of Keene pass the enclosed Complete Streets Resolution.

Complete Streets help communities design and maintain roads for all – drivers, public transport riders, pedestrians, and bicyclists of all ages and abilities – while maximizing the positive impacts roads have on our safety, economic development, quality of life, environment and public health.

The 2010 Keene Comprehensive Master Plan states “Members of the community expressed a desire, as part of creating Keene’s walkable community, to strive for ‘complete streets.’ Keene should make it a consistent policy to design streets with all users in mind…”  The attached list of community supporters underscores this support.

Recent studies have indicated that Complete Streets can boost local economies by increasing residential property values (homeowners are willing to pay more to live in walkable, bikable communities) and retail sales (businesses located along Complete Streets often see an increase in sales).  Also, Complete Streets improve safety and reduce crashes by providing pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, such as safe crossings, sidewalks, or on-road bicycle lanes. Complete Streets promote public health by making it safe and convenient for children and families to incorporate physical activity into their daily lives – contributing to the goals of Vision 2020 to make our community the healthiest in the nation by 2020.

Supporting Complete Streets is investing in a stronger and healthier Keene.  I urge you to pass a Complete Streets Resolution for Keene.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Risley

Complete Streets Update: Mark Fenton & Vision 2020

From the June 2011 Vision 2020 Champions In Action E-Newsletter

More than 400 business leaders, employee wellness managers, community members, students, and Champions participated in three days of events in May with public health advocate Mark Fenton. The three day series focused on the importance of “completing our streets” so that they are designed and maintained for walkers, bikers, public transit riders and motorists. Mark shared that “for the first time in our history, it is likely that today’s children will have a shorter life expectancy than that of their parents, due to sedentary lifestyles and poor nutrition”. To reverse this growing trend, it is imperative that we make significant behavior changes in our lives.  “Although many of these changes are simple and easy to do, they can only reach their full potential when they are instituted as a matter of public policy.”

At the end of the May events, many of the participants responded to a “call to action” and signed a pledge for the City of Keene to adopt a Complete Streets Resolution. The resolution was drafted by the Keene Young Professionals Network (KYPN) and has been endorsed by the Monadnock Region Transportation Management Association.  The resolution states that whenever a road is being built, changed, or updated, all four users need to be considered: pedestrians, bikers, transit users, and vehicles drivers. Instead of designing roads with the sole intention of drivers, it is important to consider each road as part of a larger system that impacts our overall safety, economic development, quality of life, the environment and public health. By supporting a Complete Streets Policy, it can help our own community consider all the impacts roads have on our lives and promote the design and maintenance of roads to maximize benefits. Click here to show your support of the Complete Streets policy being advocated for in Keene! Feel free to use the Resolution as a template to adopt a similar policy in your town. Any and all towns in Cheshire County could benefit from this.

If you would like to get involved with the Keene Young Professionals Network or the Complete Streets Resolution, contact fellow Champion Jen Risley at jen@hannahgrimes.com.

Complete the Streets in Keene Update

Despite the rain and sleet at April’s Monadnock Earth Festival we had 20 more folks sign on as supporters of the Complete Streets in Keene Resolution (we have 50 supporters so far). We made new connections with individuals from Pathways for Keene & MRTMA.

KeeneYPN’s Chair Jessica O’Connor has been asked to give a short overview of KYPN at the May 4th Vision 2020 Complete Streets Event before the keynote speaker, Mark Fenton, speaks. Keene YPN has also been asked to facilitate a discussion at this event regarding the next steps for the Complete the Streets in Keene Project.

Frequently Asked Complete Streets Questions