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Walking advocate to present ‘Complete Streets’ to county board

October 18, 2013
By Fritz Busch - Staff Writer , The Journal

NEW ULM - Mark Fenton, a five-time member of the U.S. national race walking team, national walking advocate, author; and host of the new PBS series "America's Walking," will give a Complete Streets presentation to Brown County commissioners from 1-3 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 22 in the courthouse commissioners room.

Hosted by Brown County Public Health and the Hearts Beat Back: Heart of New Ulm Project (HONU), Fenton's Powerpoint presentation will center on creating streets and roads that are safe and accessible for pedestrians, transit riders, bicyclists and drivers, commercial and emergency vehicles; all users regardless of age and ability.

Fenton will be in New ulm as part of the e Hearts Beat Back: Heart of New Ulm Project's sixth annual worksite summit.

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Mark Fenton, a five-time member of the U.S. national race walking team and a walking advocate, will speak to Brown County commissioners on Tuesday about Complete Streets projects.

Fenton will present "Health Jeopardy: Building a Healthier Workplace," for area business and industry work site wellness leaders from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 22 at Turner Hall. To register, e-mail Shawn.Hildebrandt@allina.com or call 507-217-5549.

The Minnesota Legislature passed a Complete Streets law in 2010 that directs the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) to transition to Complete Streets.

Complete Streets features include sidewalks, paved shoulders, bike lanes, bus stop access, sidewalk "bump-outs" at intersections, safe crossing points, accessible curb ramps, pedestrian refuge medians and "corridor" access to adjacent trails.

From October 2012 through Sept. 2013, the Heart of Brown County Project worked primarily in New Ulm to educate and increase awareness of the safety, health and economic benefits of Complete Streets. Staff organized a group of local citizens interested in bicycling and walking to give presentations to local service groups and organizations.

From October 2013 through September 2014, Brown County residents interested in improved safety for pedestrians and bicyclists will be recruited to increase awareness in Sleepy Eye and Springfield.

According to Minnesota Statute 174.75, local road authorities are encouraged, but not required, to create and adopt Complete Streets policies for roads that reflect local context and goals.

The law:

Requires the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) to provide more flexibility in implementing Complete Streets principles for local cities and counties that are building roads subject to state-aid design standards.

Ensures that any local government seeking to implement a Complete Streets project may request a variance.

(Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at fbusch@nujournal.com).

 
 

 

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