Open Streets in the Hudson Valley

Today is the one-year anniversary of the United States Department of Transportation announcement that “the establishment of well-connected walking and bicycling networks” will be part of all federal-aid transportation projects. Signed on March 11, 2010, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood broke the news March 15 at the National Bike Summit:

We are integrating the needs of bicyclists in federally-funded road projects. We are discouraging transportation investments that negatively affect cyclists and pedestrians. And we are encouraging investments that go beyond the minimum requirements and provide facilities for bicyclists and pedestrians of all ages and abilities.

It’s difficult to assess if this “sea change” has had any impact yet, but here in the Hudson Valley nonmotorized transportation was featured at a recent conference, Making Great Places. It was hosted by the Orange County Citizens Foundation at Mount St. Mary College in Newburgh. The day-long event featured a number of speakers organized into a series of four panels: Economic Impact of Trails and Walkability, Who Cares About Nonmotorized Transportation & Why?, Planning for Nonmotorized Travel, and Technical Aspects of Nonmotorized Travel. Hudson Valley Green will cover the material in these presentations over the next few month.

The keynote speaker was Mike Lydon of The Street Plans Cooperative, an urban planning and advocacy firm that promotes compact, walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods. Mike gave Hudson Valley Green a quick overview of the Open Streets Initiative in this video.

For more ideas on what to do in your neck of the woods, check out, and

Miami was one of the first U.S. cities to promote a Ciclovia

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