BRADENTON -- At Tuesday's MPO meeting, members voted to approve a draft for a Bicycle, Pedestrian and Trails Master Plan to be put into the MPO's Long Range Transportation Plan after a presentation from the Bicycles/Pedestrians/Trails Advisory Committee demonstrated how reshaping our roadways into multi-modal avenues of travel is in our future and is here to stay. FDOT officials say that one day we will be able to go from Route 90 -- near the Florida/Georgia border -- to Key West, on one continuous bike/sidewalk path.
"Complete Streets" are becoming revolutionary in future transportation plans, as multi-modal travel continues to be a popular way to enhance mobility. Advocates say that organizing a Complete Streets policy assures that transportation planners and engineers consistently design and operate all avenues of travel with all users in mind. They are for bicyclists, public transportation, vehicles, riders and pedestrians of all ages and abilities.
Over recent years the BPT Advisory Committee has demonstrated to the MPO and its supporting local governments that Complete Streets are: safer, by reducing crashes; healthier, by encouraging physical activity; environmentally responsible through available options; and economically smart. Complete Streets connect schools to children, houses with stores and tourists favor Complete Streets for getting around towns they are unfamiliar with.
Tuesday's vote also pushed the proposed BPT Master Plan from 2040 to 2035. MPO members showed overwhelming support for the Master Plan. There are currently a few FDOT Complete Street projects in the process of becoming a reality in both Manatee and Sarasota counties.
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