You might never have thought about how public health is impacted by streets.
But consider that 40 percent of all trips are less than 2 miles long, equivalent to a 10-minute healthy bike ride. Yet 65 percent of all trips are made by automobile, Adam Krom told a group of Lexington residents who met Wednesday night to talk about Lexington's streets.
Or what about this: In 1969, 50 percent of children walked to school, but in 2008, less than 14 percent did.
Krom is with the design firm Wallace Roberts & Todd of Philadelphia, which has been hired to help Lexington develop a "Complete Street" plan to build streets that are safer and more livable. Citizen input was the first step to drawing up a set of design guidelines for new streets and to retrofit existing ones.
"This is about making a network of streets that are accessible to everybody, whether you're in a car, on foot, on a bike or using public transit," said Kenzie Gleason, the city's bicycle and pedestrian coordinator.
That does not mean every street should have a bike lane or a median planted with trees down the middle, Gleason said. "It's about flexibility, looking at the use and function of each street" and making changes so the street is safe and usable.
The consulting firm will develop a set of recommendations and return in the spring to present them. Visit lexingtonky.gov beginning Thursday to find a link to the new Complete Street Web site.