Blue Springs becomes 13th Missouri city to adopt Complete Streets policy

Monday the city council of Blue Springs, Missouri, adopted a Complete Streets policy, becoming the 13th Missouri city to adopt a Complete Streets policy and 10th Missouri city to adopt a policy since the start of 2010.

Blue Springs Let's Move Committee with U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Regional Director Judy Baker
Blue Springs Let's Move Committee with U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Regional Director Judy Baker

Blue Springs is the 11th largest city in Missouri, by population, and the adoption of the policy in Blue Springs means that seven of the fifteen largest cities in Missouri have Complete Streets policies adopted or underway. Over 1.2 million Missourians live in a city covered by a Complete Streets policy.

In addition, the Missouri General Assembly adopted a Complete Streets Resolution this year and three Metropolitan Planning Organizations, covering over 4.5 million people (over 3 million of them in Missouri) have now adopted Complete Streets policies.

The policy in Blue Springs started when the city became a Let's Move City, joining hundreds of cities across the U.S. in First Lady Michelle Obama's program to improve the health of residents.

Complete Streets soon emerged as the top priority of the Blue Springs Let's Move committee.  The Complete Streets resolution was officially adopted by the City Council Monday.

The City Council agenda from Monday explains the history and reasons for the new policy in Blue Springs:

In February, in support of First Lady Michelle Obama’s national Let’s Move! initiative aimed at eliminating childhood obesity, the City  of Blue Springs Let’s Move! Initiative was launched in part by Mayor Ross, the Blue Springs School District, and StandUp Blue Springs. Since that time, Blue Springs Let’s Move! has  held four citizen summits and several projectspecific subcommittee meetings. The development of a Livable Streets policy was a primary implementation item identified by this process. 
According to the National Complete Streets Coalition, Livable Streets, also referred to as Complete Streets, “are designed and operated to enable safe access for all users, [including] pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities.” Several neighboring communities have already adopted a Livable Streets policy, such as Lee’s Summit, Independence, and Kansas City. 
Out of the Blue Springs Let’s Move! Initiative a Livable Streets Committee was formed comprised of City staff, Monica Meeks of StandUp Blue Springs, Samara Klein of KC Healthy Kids, and Mike Schweder of A Healthy Change Hypnotherapy. All committee members will be in attendance at the September 19th City Council meeting to present the Livable Streets concept and policy.  
Encouraging cities and other agencies to adopt Complete Streets policies is one of the top goals of MoBikeFed's Vision for Bicycling and Walking in Missouri.  

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