Concord, NH, September 9, 2016  - Over 100 planners and elected officials took part in a series of regional Complete Streets events over the summer.  Then on Sept. 8th, legislators and leaders from state government, nonprofits, and businesses attended a Complete Streets Educational Forum in Concord.  Participants at these events learned how Complete Streets can benefit New Hampshire communities and help our state address pressing economic and demographic issues.

Complete Streets is a set of design tools to help our streets become safer and more convenient for people of all ages and abilities. Complete Streets make it easier to cross the street, walk to shops, or bicycle to work. They make it more inviting for people to stop, explore, shop, and dine instead of driving straight through.

The regional events kicked off in Manchester on May 6th and finished up in Laconia on August 29th.  This was an up-close and personal chance for planners, elected officials and others to tour the host town by bus, bike and on foot to see how Complete Streets could improve public health and bring an economic boost to their own communities.

Communities were inspired to take action, with some reaching out for help in organizing a Complete Streets demonstration. Others wanted to get started on simple and inexpensive projects like painting new crosswalks or bike lanes during already scheduled paving projects. Many vowed to bring Complete Streets ideas to their select boards as a way to revitalize their downtowns.

Leading thinkers and policy makers held an in-depth conversation on Sept. 8th about the ways Complete Streets can help address demographic challenges such as the 10% loss of New Hampshire’s working age population by 2030, and the doubling of the over 65 population in the same time period.

Top officials from the Division of Economic Development, the Division of Public Health, Office of Human Services, Department of Environmental Services, and Department of Transportation agreed that Complete Streets can attract the next generation of workers, while helping our state’s children and adults become healthier by making it safe and convenient to walk or bike to many of their destinations.  Members of the NH Legislative Study Committee on Complete Streets (SB364) were present and will be using the information they learned in their deliberations this fall.

Transport NH partners with HEAL NH and Bike-Walk Alliance of NH to lead the NH Complete Streets Coalition. For more information please contact Rebecca Harris at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or by phone at 802-266-0566.

 

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