Eastern Shore Land Conservancy


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Conserve, steward, and advocate for the unique rural landscape of the Eastern Shore.

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Complete Streets

Last week we posted about neckdowns (or “sneckdowns” in the snow), but that’s just one part of the “complete streets” concept. Complete streets are those that provide a range of benefits, both to the environment and the surrounding community. Specifically, complete streets often incorporate green infrastructure elements such as bioretention islands, permeable pavements, street trees, and vegetated swales (just to name a few!). These features effectively capture stormwater runoff and prevent it from reaching and thus polluting the Bay. As if that’s not exciting enough, they also add beautiful aesthetics to an otherwise boring street!

Complete streets also revolve around the idea of reclaiming more road space for pedestrians instead of cars. Often times, streets are dominated by automobiles, making it dangerous for people to cross and a hindrance for neighbors that want to get to know each other and build a sense of community. Many complete streets include bike lanes and traffic-calming devices (such as curb bumpouts), so that residents feel more encouraged to bike and less inclined to drive, and also so that cars travel through more slowly.

A shining example of a complete street is in Edmonston, MD where, through the help of grants and EPA funds, the community turned a derelict street into a thriving neighborhood asset. Read the full story.


Are there any streets in your neighborhood that you think could use a complete street makeover? Design your own street using www.streetmix.net and share your creation with ESLC using the hashtag #eslccompletestreets on Facebook or Twitter. Or leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts!

– Kara Nave

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