In Nashua we are stuck with a “car conundrum.” We have begun densifying the areas around Main Street, but most folks are still dependent on cars. Because of this we are stuck where the town wants to build more parking because they do not have the money to provide adequate transportation infrastructure.
The key area where Nashua is lacking, but does not cost inordinate amounts of money to implement is ensuring that our streets that are safe for pedestrians and cyclists. Downtown Nashua has many amenities that are hardly a mile from each other.
Ensuring we are able to provide adequate pedestrian/cyclist infrastructure is inexpensive, and will help reduce car dependence in Nashua while we continue to get funding for adequate transportation infrastructure.
In our rebuke against Parking Minimums, many of our low cost, quick to implement suggestions were part of a Complete Streets policy.
After discussing our main objectives at our July strategy meeting last week, we decided to move forward with a full Complete Streets Policy push.
You can see an example of Northampton MA doing a popup sort of Complete Streets here which:
- Reduced the number of lanes on their Main Street to 1 on each side
- Added protected cycle lanes
- Decreased the size between crosswalks and sidewalks
- Added traffic calming measures to slow down cars on the street
Adding these to our own Main Street and other streets would be a huge boon to Nashua.
I want to help
You’re in luck, the first steps are easy. We need to get the concept of Complete Streets on the town’s radar. It is a well known term, popular policy, and costs $0 to implement. To begin, send your alderman an email saying you are interested in a Complete Streets Policy.
If you are looking for recommendations, we have provided a template to send.
I would love for Nashua to have a Complete Streets Policy. As someone who spends a considerable amount of time in Nashua, I think it would provide a great benefit to the city.
Complete streets are roadways designed and built to accommodate all users, including pedestrians, cyclists, public transit riders, and motorists, ensuring safe and efficient transportation for everyone. These streets prioritize inclusivity, safety, and accessibility, aiming to create a more balanced and equitable transportation system.
As a member of Nashua Strong Towns – I think it would greatly benefit the town to have a Complete Streets Policy, and to begin the process for making one. Our neighboring cities have benefited greatly from having a Complete Streets Policy, and we think Nashua would too.
All the best,
Where we are going next
Complete Streets can mean many different things, and ensuring we get the policy right is critical. Our goal is to take the best from neighboring towns and more to ensure we have a strong Complete Streets Policy including but not limited to:
- Protected cycle lanes
- Large and robust sidewalks
- Proper traffic calming such as raised crosswalks
- And more!
We are going to take time to review the Complete Streets policies in neighboring towns such as Cambridge, Portsmouth, and Concord to make sure we don’t miss any details we might want in ours.
If there are any additional cities that have high quality Complete Streets Policies in the northeast especially, take some time to review them, or send them our way as suggestions! If there are any features you think a street can’t live without, we’re all ears!
We’ll try to include popular suggestions in our recommendations in the future!