Beyond the Motorist: Summit to Explore How 'Complete Streets' Can Change the Way We Live

Public panel will discuss how streets planned for pedestrians, cyclists and transit users can promote prosperity, livability and even health

Release Date: April 16, 2012

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- How can streets that accommodate pedestrians, cyclists and transit users influence a region's environment, prosperity, health and livability?

That's the theme of the Buffalo Complete Streets Summit, a two-day symposium from April 19-20.

The event will explore why communities across the country -- including Buffalo -- are adopting 'complete streets' policies that think beyond the motorist when planning infrastructure. Experts say that such policies offer myriad benefits, from reducing congestion to combating obesity.

The Buffalo Complete Streets Summit will kick off with a free, public panel discussion from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 19, at Asbury Hall, 341 Delaware Ave., Buffalo. The conversation will focus on how national best practices can shape the Buffalo streetscape. Featured experts will include:

- Tavis Dockwiller, an expert in green infrastructure from Viridian Landscape Studio in Philadelphia.

- Gail Dorfman, county commissioner of the 3rd district in Hennepin County, Minn.

- Jeff Olson, a designer and past New York State Pedestrian and Bicycle Program manager from Alta Planning and Design in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

- Sam Zimbabwe, a transit and sustainable development advocate from the District Department of Transportation in Washington, D.C.

The panel's moderators will be Robert G. Shibley, dean of UB's School of Architecture and Planning and chair of UB's Environmental Stewardship Committee, and Daniel Robison, reporter from WBFO.

On Friday, April 20, local policymakers will gather at UB's Jacobs Executive Development Center at 672 Delaware Ave., Buffalo for an invitation-only dialogue. Attendees will learn from experts from around the country about how different jurisdictions are implementing and maintaining complete streets plans.

The Buffalo Complete Streets Summit is presented by GO Bike Buffalo with funding provided by the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), along with Righteous Babe Records, Wendel Companies, UB's Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access (IDeA Center) and the New York State Department of Transportation.

Additional support comes from Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities-Buffalo Partnership, Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper, Joy Kuebler Landscape Architect, and UB's Civic Engagement and Public Policy research initiative.

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