A complete street is a street that accommodates all road users. It is safe and convenient for motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit passengers.
The town of Plymouth has adopted a “Complete Streets” policy. The policy formalized the community’s intent to plan, design, operate, and maintain streets that are safe for users of all ages and abilities. Since the policy has been adopted the Town has added complete street components to:
- Obery Street
- Samoset Street
- Commerce Way
- Water Street (northern section)
- Nelson Street
- Winslow Street
Complete Street projects that are expected to occur in the near future include:
- Taylor Avenue
- 1820 Courthouse/new Town Hall corridor
- Allerton Street
- Loring Boulevard at Cordage Park
Benefits of Complete Streets
- Promotes recreation
- Promotes safety, access, and equity
- Reduces traffic congestion
Complete Streets Support Good Health
- The states with the lowest level of biking and walking have the highest rates of obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes*
- Walking and cycling as part of everyday travel is as effective as structured workouts for improving health**
- Complete Streets include designs and features specifically for persons with disabilities, helping to reduce isolation and dependence*
Complete Streets Are Good for Business
- Local businesses thrive in dense, walkable communities - $1 spent at an independent business generates 3 times as much to the local economy as spending at a chain*
- Retail patrons arriving by foot and bicycle visit the most often and spend the most money per month*
- Families living in walkable areas save $400 to $500 monthly in auto costs compared to auto dependent communities*, leaving them more to spend
Plymouth Complete Streets in the Future
Plymouth planners have a long-term vision for a network of bikeways and pedestrian paths that support a healthy population. The goal is to provide more options for residents and visitors to get to work, recreation, and shopping without a car. There could even be a return to the days of the “free-range kid,” able to go to school, baseball fields and the waterfront without relying on an adult for a ride. The creation of this network will also put Plymouth on the map as an outdoor tourism destination, and part of the greater South Shore’s outdoor recreational opportunities.
The Mass In Motion grant that supported this website will also help the town move closer toward achieving its vision.
The plan includes a series of pathways that, once built, can connect Plymouth’s historic downtown with Myles Standish State Forest, the coastline and a number of regional mass transit hubs, providing greater freedom of movement for area residents and visitors alike.
“Many current bike routes were developed before the huge population growth of the 1980s,” says Plymouth Planning Director Lee Hartmann. “Regional roads and intersections developed back then have become unsafe for bicyclists and pedestrians. Our goal is to bring back a more active lifestyle possible for those who want to take advantage of it.”
A Southeast Bikeway is now being developed, along with biking loops in the northern area of Duxbury and up to Boston. Plans for Plymouth would connect all of these current investments to make a contiguous, safe path from Boston to Cape Cod. Other biking trails are being planned using Myles Standish State Forest as a central destination or hub. The plans will create spokes off this main route to connect the Cordage Train Station as well as connections to New Bedford, Pine Hills and a number of other small residential communities in the region. These communities, in turn, will be connected to schools and recreational trails that currently are only safely accessible by car.
The Bicycle and Pedestrian Task Force for the Old Colony Planning Council is building community consensus for trail connectivity as part of a multi-year grant. Connecting these public investments will make them even more valuable as infrastructure improvements.
* MassDOT: Complete Streets Primer, **Schwartz Engineering: Steps to a Walkable Community