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Sylvania weighs adopting Complete Street policy

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A Complete Street policy encourages all forms of transportation, including walking.

The Blade
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Sylvania officials are considering adopting a Complete Street Policy modeled after a state program to open roadways to all modes of transport and ages.

Kevin Aller, city service director, said the policy says that cities should examine what types of transportation is used and by whom, and to try to accommodate those users. More importantly, Mr. Aller said, a city that adopts the policy would receive more points when it applies for grants from the Ohio Department of Transportation or from  the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments.

If the policy is not adopted, he said, “We would be at a disadvantage when seeking grant funds because we would not score higher points.”

The City Council’s Streets Committee is to discuss adopting the policy at a 6:30 p.m. meeting on Monday.

Mr. Aller said the goal of transportation officials, including TMACOG, is to promote avenues of transportation, including cars, cyclists, children walking, people with disabilities using mobility aids, and emergency vehicles.

Sylvania employs the philosophy, he said, pointing to the cooperative effort by the city, Olander Park, and Lucas County Commissioners for the fragmented path used for walking and biking along Sylvania-Metamora Road.

Monroe Street, from Silica Drive near Northview High School, to where it dead-ends into Erie Street, and then Erie west to Centennial Road is an example of the policy in motion.

“You have vehicle lanes, established bike lanes, sidewalks the full distance and ADA-compliant ramps along that stretch,” he said.

That stretch of roads has improved crosswalks near schools where children are likely to bike or walk. 

The policy allows the city to use discretion in deciding where complete streets should be implemented, with regard to cost and green space, Mr. Aller said.

Adopting the policy, he added, does not mean placing bike lanes on every street. Rather the city would examine placing lanes in areas where people want to travel by bike.

The policy also sets guidelines in design and construction to ensure cohesive planning in the complete street philosophy.

Contact Natalie Trusso Cafarello at: 419-206-0356, or ntrusso@theblade.com, or on Twitter @natalietrusso.

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