Complete Streets not a new idea

The City of Pensacola has been talking about Complete Streets since 2012. Initially, the concept was used as a reason to open East Government Street to Ninth Avenue.

Later that year, the city council formed a Complete Streets Ad Hoc Committee that was chaired by Council member Megan Pratt.

Complete Streets concept was big at the May 2013 Emerald Coast Transportation Symposium-“Diving Development.” The idea seemed to be gaining some momentum.

Jordan Rockwell, transportation planner at the West Florida Regional Planning Council, told Inweekly that Pensacola should have more “complete streets,” that is, streets that accommodate all users—pedestrians, bicyclists, public transit—safely and attractively.

Inweekly reporter Sarah McCartan wrote about the Pensacola initiative in June 2013, “Bike Curious.”

The sustainability-minded Think Beyond, chaired by Mona Amodeo, launched “Bikes at Work” initiative to encourage downtown businesses to purchase bikes for the workplace for their employees to use during the day. Bike racks were placed around downtown.

It was hoped that “Bikes at Work” would serve as catalyst for Complete Streets. Unfortunately the Ad Hoc committee rarely met–Nov. 16, 2012, March 21, 2013 and May 14, 2014.

In April 2015, the Pensacola City Council reinstated the Complete Streets Ad Hoc Committee. Again it went nowhere.

In February 2016, the City of Pensacola Bicycle Advisory Committee was formed as an ad-hoc committee of the Parks and Recreation Board.

Last year, the Bicycle Advisory Committee began taking up the concept. Council member Sherri Myers in December said she planned to bring forth a Complete Streets ordinance.

Inweekly reporter Jeremy Morrison wrote about it in January–“Completely Rethinking Streets.”

On Feb. 15, mayoral transition team member Drew Buchanan recommended the city adopt Complete Streets. Ten days later, Mayor Grover Robinson announced he would hire someone to lead the charge for the city.

A seven-year process. Ugh