A Memphis group of public, private and nonprofit professionals spoke at the New Partners for Smart Growth Conference in Kansas City on Friday, Feb. 8.
ULI Memphis, Livable Memphis and the Memphis Area Association of Realtors (MAAR) presented, “Getting to Complete Streets the Grassroots Way,” summarizing an ongoing effort that culminated in an executive order for a new Complete Streets policy, which was signed this week by Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr.
“This Complete Streets initiative is an outgrowth of the Sustainable Shelby policy which I started when I was Mayor of Shelby County,” Wharton said in a release. “The Complete Streets initiative fits in with my view that enhancing our public realm is a key component of making Memphis a City of Choice.”
The presentation group – which was selected from candidates across the nation – included Emily Trenholm, Community Development Council; Sarah Newstok, Livable Memphis; Aubrie Kobernus, formerly of MAAR; Rusty Bloodworth, Boyle Investment Co.; and Lissa Thompson, Ritchie Smith Associates.
The development of the new Complete Streets policy, in which City of Memphis engineer John Cameron was extensively involved, has taken a year and a half to complete. The next stage entails the creation of a design manual, which will be used in the planning process.
The preparation of the design manual also will be a partnership among city staff, design professionals, citizen representatives and the private sector. In developing the manual, the group will consider all of the implications of possible street design, including liability concerns, health, and safety and welfare issues, as well as economic, environmental, maintenance and aesthetic consequences.
“The new Complete Streets policy represents a commitment by the City of Memphis to treat streets as an important part of the public realm,” said Bloodworth, a sustainability advocate. “The policy will enable the creation of city streets in the Memphis area that are inviting to a variety of users, including pedestrians and bicycles, and not just automobiles.”
Watch the completed Complete Streets mini documentary here.