Last night at Council, members discussed several agenda items one of which was my motion which spoke to integrating a “Complete Street” policy within our Official Plan (OP) update. A “Complete Street” policy is one that looks at developing streets designed for all ages, abilities, and modes of travel, with safe and comfortable access for pedestrians, bicycles, transit users and the mobility-impaired and makes it an integral part of planning. Often you hear Council discuss how we need to look at creating a walkability feature on many of our streets. Well, by integrating the Complete Streets policy into our OP , walkability and accessibility – in every sense of the word – will be a key consideration in the development of our streets in the future. This would include redeveloping streets into “Complete Streets” during reconstruction. As we move forward we need to look at how we can develop our roads and streets to move more then just cars; to be ‘Multi-modal”. A complete street will help make us a complete community.
It should be noted though that while this policy would be included in our OP update, the reconstruction of streets would only occur if viable…There are streets where this just isn’t possible… We will be looking to staff to make recommendations on which roads could be converted.
By making more and more of Aurora’s roads, sidewalks and pathways accessible to everyone, I believe that a Complete Streets Policy will make Aurora a better place for all our residents, now and in the future. We are currently in the process of updating our OP, so now is the right time to implement such a policy. While we do have some policies within our secondary plan(s) that speak to pedestrians and cycling, they are not holistic, integrated nor universally applicable. I felt we needed to be proactive, to develop a full Complete Street policy that would officially be integrated into our OP and my fellow council members agreed! I was very pleased that my motion passed unanimously!!