On Tuesday (July 19th) the El Paso City Council will consider for adoption a Complete Streets policy to improve safety and walkability across the city. The matter comes before the council just days after Smart Growth America released their 2022 Dangerous by Design report in which El Paso ranked as the most dangerous city in Texas, and the 18th most dangerous city for pedestrians nationwide.
In the 2021 edition of the Dangerous by Design report El Paso ranked 20th nationwide, meaning the city is headed in the wrong direction.
Adopting Complete Streets alters the way cities design and build streets and roads. Instead of focusing solely on the speed of motor vehicle travel, neighborhoods are designed and built for the safety, comfort, and easy access of all users, including those who walk, bike, use a wheelchair, use public transportation and drive.
The policy before the El Paso City Council will not only help create a more connected, resilient and equitable transportation network, but ensure a shift to giving high priority to equitable access for people of all ages and abilities.
In an op-ed on the policy, local radio personality Buzz Adams posited what so many El Pasoan’s feel about their streets: “You’re really taking your life into your own hands if you want to ride a bike on a street in El Paso. Obviously, WALKING is even more dangerous.” Adams noted we need more sidewalks and bike lanes that provide safe, connected routes across the entire community.
This policy will help to add more and safer crosswalks, add trees along out streets to provide shade, and look for opportunities to create new connections throughout El Paso where none may exist now (which force people who walk and bike to take long, circuitous, and potentially unsafe routes because the needs of vulnerable road users may not have been considered appropriately before).
It’s time every El Paso has safe, accessible streets.
If you would like to speak in Favor of the adoption of El Paso’s Complete Streets plan, you can attend in person, or attend virtually by signing up at https://elpasotx.seamlessdocs.com/f/SpeakerSignUpFormItem before 9am on July 19th, then scroll down to Sign-Up Form, select “Regular City Council” then click the blue Next button on the right. On the form enter July 19, 2022 for the date of the meeting, indicate whether you will be in person at City Hall or attend virtually. Then add your contact information, and for item number enter “29 – El Paso Complete Streets Policy” then click on the submit button.