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State Rep. Brendan Crighton
BY THOR JOURGENSEN
LYNN — Lynn ranks high in a national survey examining how well communities work to ensure their streets are safe for drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists.
The city earned top ranking in the Smart Growth America’s National Complete Streets Coalition survey along with Ashland, Framingham, Longmeadow, Natick, Norwell and Weymouth.
“It’s an honor for Lynn to be recognized nationally,” said state Rep. Brendan Crighton.
Complete Streets are roads that are safe, accessible and comfortable for all users, regardless of age, physical ability, income or how they choose to travel: by transit, on foot, by bike or public transit, according to the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) and Smart Growth America.
Ten Massachusetts communities enacted Complete Streets policies in 2015 — the most of any state in the country last year and seven of those policies — including Lynn’s — were among the best in the nation, according to Smart Growth America’s new national analysis.
“These policies are an important local tool for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, advancing smart development and improving residents’ health and wellbeing,” said Marc Draisen, MAPC executive director.
Western Avenue’s East Lynn section is a prime example of Complete Street planning. State and local officials are studying traffic and bus stop layouts, as well as traffic signals at major intersections such as Eastern and Western avenues.
The study focused, in part, on how traffic flows from Western Avenue in Lynn across the Salem line onto Highland Avenue. And it examines ways to improve bicycle safety on the busy road and reconfigure bus stops.
Crighton said the City Council passed a local Complete Streets policy last year. He said the measure could help the city obtain additional state transportation money and it underscores the strong connection between transportation and local economies.
“People want to work and live in areas that are accessible and safe,” Crighton said.
So far, 70 cities and towns have registered for the Complete Streets program, with 44 percent of those communities serving populations at or below the median household income, stated the MAPC.
Nationwide, a total of 898 Complete Streets policies have been passed by 843 separate municipalities, counties, metropolitan planning organizations, state agencies and states.
Thor Jourgensen can be reached at [email protected].