Statement from Amanda Fredriksen, AARP Texas director of advocacy and outreach, in support of executive order on Complete Streets for Houston.

“AARP commends Mayor Annise Parker for her leadership in bringing a Complete Streets policy to the nation’s fourth largest city, as well as Council member Gonzalez for his support during this process. This executive order will gradually transform the city of Houston to accommodate all modes of travel, including driving, walking, public transportation and cycling.

Amanda Fredriksen, AARP Texas“A great city like Houston deserves safe and accessible streets in order to foster an even more thriving environment that is livable for everyone, regardless of how one gets around for business or pleasure. A Complete Street is one that is safe and convenient for travel by automobile, foot, bicycle, and transit for everyone in the community, regardless of age or ability.

“For years, transportation policy in our country has focused almost entirely on construction and maintenance of roads to accommodate more cars. While cars are obviously critical to our transportation network, they are only part of the equation. Transportation planners and engineers must expand their view and design of travel networks to accommodate all modes of travel. This is why AARP is so pleased that Houston is taking this important step today.

“Complete streets are also a key component of our push in cities across the country on behalf of what we call ‘livable communities’. Our polls show that a large majority of Americans plan to stay in their communities — and often in their very same homes — as they grow older. In order to do so, however, they need to be confident that their community has convenient, safe and reliable options to get where they need and want to go. They need Complete Streets.

“We realize that a vision of this magnitude won’t be realized overnight but rather will be achieved over time. We urge the citizens of Houston to rally around the cause of safer streets for all by cooperating with and supporting the efforts of the local government agencies in charge of translating this vision into reality — the City of Houston’s Planning and Development Department, the Public Works and Engineering Department and METRO.

“Complete Streets are an important part of our cities and towns. They are streets for everyone. They are good for individuals, they are good for families, they are good for businesses, and they are most definitely good for Houston.”