The city of Brunswick on Wednesday decided to take the first steps toward making a Complete Streets ordinance a reality.
It will require new road and transportation infrastructure projects to consider things like pedestrian and bicycle traffic in their designs.
The new ordinance will essentially mean more bike lanes, wider sidewalks, safer pedestrian crossings, benches along sidewalks and bike racks, among other things.
The idea is commonly thought of as a step toward smart growth.
We have heard plenty about the growth aspect of that in Brunswick lately, especially in the city’s downtown commercial district. As that growth happens, it only makes sense to do it wisely. That should include thinking about travel by other means than the automobile.
Anything that makes pedestrian and bike travel safer and more comfortable will only make our city more attractive.
Many paving projects throughout the city will be needed in the coming years. As those happen, it would be nice to see some areas become safer where foot traffic to the corner store is frequent.
If the ordinance truly does redefine how communities prioritize their transportation spending, perhaps sidewalks will become part of those projects so fewer people in the city are not forced to walk or ride their bikes in the middle of the streets.
This will obviously not happen overnight, but it is nice to know the city will be thinking ahead as it appears it may be poised for growth in the coming years.
Although the ordinance is not a precursor of and is separate from any plans that may materialize for a public transit system, perhaps with a little foresight, some needed pieces for things like bus stops will already be in place because of this smart growth should a public transit system come to fruition.
The Complete Streets Ordinance may mean some added planning and construction, but it will be worth it if city streets become safer and more pedestrian friendly.