WEST CHESTER. PA — Tim Phelps, Executive Director of Transportation Management Association of Chester County (TMACC), announced that TMACC Board Member and County Commissioner Josh Maxwell has been selected as a member of Smart Growth America’s Active People, Healthy Nation℠ 2021 Champions Institute, a national program that advocates for, and supports safer and more complete streets in local communities.
Maxwell is one of 20 elected officials nationwide, representing 13 different states, who will receive comprehensive training to promote activity-friendly routes that are more accessible, equitable and economically viable.
“Commissioner Maxwell’s selection to the ‘Champions’ leadership institute helps support Chester County’s commitment to the Complete Streets concept of establishing a safe mobile environment for everyone – pedestrian, cyclist, transit user or driver,” said Tim Phelps.
The Chester County Planning Commission approved a Complete Streets policy as part of the County’s Landscapes3 Comprehensive Plan. Brian O’Leary, Executive Director of the Chester County Planning Commission said, “The goal of having a Complete Streets policy is to provide a planning tool for all of our 73 municipalities, making it easier to cross the street, walk to shops, schools, libraries, bus stops and train stations, as well as bicycle to work, and move actively and safely with assistive devices. As one of the Champions Institute cohorts, Commissioner Maxwell will gain valuable insight into ways of improving transportation options and safety in our communities,” added O’Leary.
Smart Growth America advocates that roads should be designed and operated to prioritize safety, comfort, and access to destinations for all people who use the street, especially people who have experienced systemic underinvestment or whose needs have not been met through a traditional transportation approach, including older adults, people living with disabilities, people who cannot afford or do not have access to a car, and Black, Native, and Hispanic or Latino/a/x communities.
Commenting on his selection as a member of the Champions Institute, Commissioner Maxwell said, “It is an honor to be part of this Smart Growth America training program. Representing Chester County at the national table gives us a direct connection to the latest and best practices in creating safer and healthier communities by prioritizing people and the environment when it comes to designing and building our streets and transportation options.”
Jeff Riegner, Chief Operating Officer of Kennett Square-based Rybinski Engineering, and Chair of the National Complete Streets Coalition shared, “I am thrilled to see that Commissioner Maxwell was selected to join the Active People, Healthy Nation Champions Institute. His participation as a Champion will help Chester County and its municipalities create streets that are better for walking and bicycling, improving the quality of life of county residents.”
“As a part of our outreach, TMACC advocates for Complete Streets”, noted Phelps. “We must provide for multimodal options to help our residents access jobs, healthcare, shopping and education. Complete Streets can help us reduce congestion and improve our regional air quality by making it possible for more people to safely and confidently walk, bike, or take transit in the Chester County”.
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