Metro Council approves ‘complete streets’ ordinance

Baton Rouge’s decade-old “complete streets” policy is now enforceable by law.

The East Baton Rouge Parish Metro Council on Wednesday unanimously voted to strengthen the policy by elevating it to an ordinance. The initiative is designed to reduce the rate of pedestrian fatalities throughout the city-parish.

The most recent Dangerous by Design report found Baton Rouge to be the fifth most dangerous city for pedestrians in the country.

The term “complete streets” refers to an approach to city planning that requires streets to be designed, operated and maintained to enable safe access for all people who use them, including bicyclists, drivers and pedestrians of all ages and abilities.

New Orleans is the only other city in Louisiana that has implemented such a policy.

“The adoption of the complete streets ordinance will serve to institutionalize the best practices that the city-parish has already put in place,” a Thursday statement from the Center for Planning Excellence reads. “[The ordinance] represents a significant advance in efforts to create a safer, more equitable and vibrant East Baton Rouge Parish for the long term.”

This story originally appeared in a June 13 issue of Daily Report. To keep up with Baton Rouge business and politics, subscribe to the free Daily Report e-newsletter here.