The concept of “Complete Streets” (CS) has been discussed in the Canton area for several years. In 2012, the Canton Bicycle Club promoted the CS concept in conjunction with the US RT11 reconstruction project. The club acted in accordance with the NY legislation authorizing CS that was passed in 2011 and signed by Gov. Cuomo on August 15, 2011. In response to this desire to enhance Main Street for cycling traffic, a broader group of concerned Canton citizens came together in 2015 to discuss the application of CS for the Village and Town of Canton. By July 2016, a draft document (resolution) was prepared and circulated to the Village and Town Boards. In 2017 both Boards adopted resolutions, though they differ substantially in tone and focus. Additionally, a consolidated (joint) Village-Town Task Force was created, and volunteers have been approved to serve on that Task Force. The Task Force meets monthly, and it expects to continue communicating vigorously with both Boards.
What is a “Complete Street?”
According to the New York State Department of Transportation Complete Streets webpage, a “complete street” is a roadway planned and designed to consider the safe, convenient access and mobility of all roadway users of all ages and abilities. This includes pedestrians, bicyclists, public transportation riders, and motorists; it includes children, the elderly, and persons with disabilities. In the North Country, we would add non-motorized vehicles, as well.
The benefits of CS are numerous and are well documented elsewhere. It is the responsibility of NYSDOT and local agencies to implement CS.
The law applies to projects (new and reconstruction) that are undertaken by NYSDOT, or to local projects that receive federal and state funding as overseen by NYSDOT. Local projects, with 100% local funding, are not subject to the law, per se. However, the local resolutions that are now in place have structured the terms and conditions for adopting CS concepts at the local level.
The Canton Complete Streets Task Force presents this Summary of Projects to facilitate further discussions with citizens and the governing Boards. This document is neither an exhaustive list nor a demand; rather, it is a statement of the kinds of projects that are to be considered for adoption. The Task Force will continue to update these materials as necessary. CS concepts must be considered at least annually when the Boards are developing their plans for street and roadway modifications.