The Longview City Council on Thursday will hold a workshop to brainstorm ideas for the city’s 2020 legislative agenda, consider a possible “complete streets” policy and discuss severe weather emergency shelters.

A complete streets policy includes streets that are designed not only for motorists, but also pedestrians, bicyclists and transit riders.

“By adopting a Complete Streets policy, communities direct their transportation planners and engineers to routinely design and operate the entire right of way to enable safe access for all users, regardless of age, ability, or mode of transportation,” according to a Longview staff report.

Members of the community, particularly David Fine, have consistently encouraged the City Council to adopt the policy, saying it will make the community safer and healthier.

“More than half of Americans recently surveyed would like to walk more and drive less. Poor community design and lack of pedestrian facilities are the primary reasons people cite for not walking more,” according to the city report. “An overwhelming number of people support policies intended to make their communities more livable by reducing traffic speed and creating a safer pedestrian environment.”

The policy does not require the city to convert car lanes into bike paths or abandon cars altogether, according to the city.

Battle Ground, Castle Rock, Cathlamet and Vancouver all have complete streets ordinances.

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A successful ordinance should have a vision, include all users and modes of transportation, apply to all phases of streets projects, specify exceptions and flexibility, emphasize connectivity, apply to all roads, use the best and latest design standards, complement the community, set performance standards and include implementation steps, according to the staff report.

If the council supports a complete streets ordinance, city staff says the next steps would be to continue the sidewalk repair program, continue adding accessibility improvements, create bike and pedestrian plans, and strengthen existing Safe Routes to School plans.

Also during the workshop, Josh Weiss of Gordon Thomas Honeywell, the city’s lobbyist group, will work with the council to identify legislative priorities and start drafting a legislative agenda, according to council documents.

The council will also discuss emergency weather shelters, following news that the Kelso-Longview Ministerial Association’s plans to open a temporary shelter in First Christian Church at 2000 East Kessler Boulevard when temperatures drop below 32 degrees this winter.

Additionally, the council will hold a closed executive session regarding potential litigation.

The workshop will begin at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in Longview City Hall.

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