Imagine streets designed to support neighborhoods, in addition to serving as transportation routes. Across the country, communities with Complete Streets policies are ensuring their roadways work not just for drivers but for transit users, pedestrians & bicyclists, as well as seniors, children, and people with disabilities.
Complete Streets are a proven, cost-effective way to improve safety and accessibility for everyone using the road. Streets that reinforce livability - incorporating social, economic, and mobility functions into their design - play an important role in quality-of-life, so that all people living in our communities - regardless of age, ability, or mode of transportation - feel safe and welcome on the roadways.
For two days, January 28 and 29, 2010, the MPO and the TMA Group co-hosted the Nashville Area Complete Streets Symposium and Workshop aimed at helping the region move beyond the usual focus on design specifics, towards an improved understanding for how we might transform decision-making processes so that Complete Streets policies are adopted throughout Middle Tennessee.
complete streets applied (photo simulation)
Guest Speaker Biographies
Michael Ronkin was born in France, and lived in Geneva, Switzerland till early adulthood, where bicycling and walking were his main modes of transportation. He also used buses, trams and trains. This background had an influence on his future career, as he has first-hand experience of a sensible transportation system.
Michael moved to the USA in 1973, in New York City, where bicycling was not a viable option. He then attended the University of California at Davis, the most bike-friendly city in country, and went back to riding his bicycle everywhere. He now resides in Corvallis, OR, the most bicycle-friendly city in the state.
After obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree in 1977, Michael Ronkin worked for the Soil Conservation Service and the Forest Service. He has been employed with the Oregon Department of Transportation since 1984. He worked in construction for five years, which enabled him to learn the basics of highway design and road building.
In 1989, Michael became ODOT's "Bikeway Specialist." This job was well suited for him, as he was able to apply both his practical engineering knowledge and his bicycle transportation background to improving bicycling in Oregon.
Mr. Ronkin proposes that it is the responsibility of transportation agencies to provide for the most basic (walking) and efficient (bicycling) forms of transportation; he envisions transportation systems where people's needs are considered first. The greatest challenge facing America is redoing the suburbs, where most new development has occurred in the last 50 years. Most of it was created with the automobile as the only travel mode considered; retrofitting the suburbs for walking and biking is a daunting but not impossible task
On top of his duties at ODOT, Michael has been offering Bicycle and Pedestrian Design Courses around the US since 1994 in over 25 locations, including Ohio, Alaska, Pennsylvania, New York, Washington DC, Virginia, New Mexico, Wyoming, Hawaii, Hew Hampshire, Texas and South Carolina. His background enables him to communicate effectively with engineers, planners, elected officials and citizens.
Randy Neufeld is the strategic management consultant for the National Complete Streets Coalition and is the director of the SRAM Cycling Fund supporting innovative efforts to promote cycling in Europe and the U.S. Randy worked for over twenty years for the Active Transportation Alliance, formally known as the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation. He began as executive director in 1987, and then served as Chief Strategy Officer from 2004 through May 2009. Randy is a national leader in pedestrian and bicycle transportation with experience working in policy, planning, public involvement, mapping, safety education, marketing, design, and funding. He serves on the Chicago Bicycle Advisory Council, the Chicago Pedestrian Advisory Council and the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning Transportation Committee. He is president of America Bikes, the national coalition working to grow bicycling through federal transportation policy and funding, and chairs the state advocacy committee of the National Partnership for Safe Routes to School.