From The Beach Reporter:
The National Complete Streets Coalition ranked Hermosa Beach among the top cities in the nation for its “exceptional work” in developing and adopting “Complete Streets” policies to ensure its streets are safe for users of all ages and abilities, provide easy pedestrian and transit access, incorporate sustainable features and create an attractive and inviting environment, said Mayor Kit Bobko.
The National Complete Streets Coalition, which researches and advocates for improved community development through the adoption and implementation of Complete Streets policies, ranked Hermosa Beach No. 2, behind Indianapolis, out of nearly 130 cities that adopted Complete Streets policies last year.
The coalition honored just 10 cities and chose Hermosa Beach as one of the top ones because of its adoption of a Living Streets policy that commits the city to creating streets that are safe, accessible, sustainable and inviting. Only two other California cities made the top 10 rating: Huntington Park (also No. 2) and Rancho Cucamonga (No. 10)
Stefanie Seskin, deputy director for the National Complete Streets Coalition, which researches and advocates for improved community development through the adoption and implementation of Complete Streets policies, said Hermosa Beach and the other cities the coalition recognized had “done a stellar job drafting strong, comprehensive policies to create streets that work for everyone.”
“We are pleased to have this national recognition of our commitment to creating streets that are safe, accessible and attractive,” Bobko said. “The City Council is dedicated to sustaining and improving the quality of life in Hermosa Beach, and we are proud of all we have done to make our city a safe, walkable, bikeable and welcoming place for all who live, work and visit here.”
Hermosa Beach already completed a beautification project which transformed upper Pier Avenue into a safer, more attractive and environmentally-friendly destination featuring palm trees, wider sidewalks, abundant seating and a storm drainage system to help clean up the ocean and conserve water. It has begun planning upgrades for portions of two of its other major thoroughfares, Pacific Coast Highway and Aviation Boulevard, to make them more pedestrian friendly and welcoming to the community.
The Complete Streets recognition comes on the heels of Hermosa Beach becoming the first community in the country to achieve Blue Zones Community Policy™ designation in February. Awarded by Blue Zones Project – a well-being improvement initiative in Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach that launched in 2010 – the designation recognizes cities for creating a healthier environment for their citizens by adopting policies that make the community more livable, walkable and bikeable.
“We applaud the City of Hermosa Beach for this incredible honor. Blue Zones Project and Beach Cities Health District have worked closely with city leaders and planners over the last two years to design, advocate for and adopt policies that are creating more vibrant, people-oriented public spaces,” said Lauren Nakano, Blue Zones Project Director. “The Complete Streets recognition further affirms that Hermosa Beach is at the forefront of a national shift in the way cities think about designing streets to encourage all forms of transportation, not just cars.”