Members of the Plan4Health Nashua coalition met on October 19 to discuss efforts to support Complete Streets in Nashua. The day began on the steps of Nashua’s City Hall when 18 community members from a wide range of organizations met with Mayor Donnalee Lozeau to discuss the City’s efforts to make the streets safer and more accessible for pedestrians and bicyclists.
Matt Makara, Program Manager at the American Public Health Association in Washington, D.C., attended the meeting and was quoted in a Nashua Telegraph article covering the event: "I feel one of the big successes of the project is that it's having these different groups working together in a non-competitive way," Makara said. "I think Nashua has done a phenomenal job of working together for these common goals."
Other meeting attendees included representatives from the Nashua Regional Planning Commission (NRPC), City of Nashua, Great American Downtown, YMCA, HEAL NH, Police Athletic League (PAL), New Hampshire Public Health Association (NHPHA), Boys & Girls Club of Greater Nashua, NeighborWorks, and other community members.
After meeting with the Mayor, the coalition hit the streets, walking along the Nashua Heritage Rail Trail and through other areas of the City. The group discussed Plan4Health Nashua's Complete Streets Project, what improvements have already been done in Nashua, and other priority areas for improving access to safe walking and bicycling, including streets around the PAL building and the Boys and Girls Club
The meeting continued at the Nashua Transit System offices to review the Level of Traffic Stress (LTS) data the NRPC had collected about how “friendly” Nashua’s streets are for biking and walking. Community partners then reviewed the maps showing the data overlay and provided feedback to ensure accuracy.
While the focus of the coalition’s work is on supporting Complete Streets in Nashua, the Plan4Health Nashua project has been recognized regionally and nationally as an example of how planning and public health can work together effectively to achieve shared goals. Plan4Health partner and Nashua Community Development Division Director, Sarah Marchant, was invited to Washington, D.C. to present an overview of the project at the American Planning Association Conference in late September. The Plan4Health Nashua project was also featured at the HEAL NH Conference on October 1 in Concord as a featured project under the Healthy People Healthy Places Active Transportation Workgroup. A week later, Plan4Health Nashua was highlighted in a presentation at the NHPHA Celebration at the Red River Theater in Concord.
The Plan4Health Nashua coalition continues to grow and gain support. If you would like more information about the coalition or how you can support Complete Streets in your community, go to http://healnh.org/plan4healthnashua or contact us.