Legislators introduce bill that would require Complete Streets policies

On June 20, Congresswoman Doris Matsui (CA-06) and Congressman David Joyce (OH-14) introduced bipartisan legislation that would ensure our nation’s roadways are built with all users in mind – including bicyclists, public transportation vehicles and riders, motorists, and pedestrians of all ages and abilities. The Safe Streets Act of 2013 would require each state to implement a Complete Streets policy within two years that ensures all new federally-funded transportation projects accommodate the safety and convenience of all users.

While the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reported a two percent drop in roadway fatalities between 2010-2011, the number of pedestrian deaths increased by three percent and bicyclist deaths by nine percent over the same period. Research shows that well-designed sidewalks, bike lanes, intersections, and other street features to accommodate all modes of travel can significantly reduce injuries, deaths and automobile crashes. To this end, more than 500 jurisdictions at the local, regional and state levels have already implemented Complete Streets policies to plan, construct, and operate streets that safely accommodate all users.

“Too many of the roads in our country are designed solely with drivers in mind. The risks of such design are evident in the number of pedestrian and bicyclist deaths and injuries we see every year, and often discourage more people from considering other transportation methods,” said Congresswoman Matsui said in a statement.

The Safe Streets Act of 2013 is supported by numerous organizations including: AARP, Transportation for America, the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, the American Planning Association, the League of American Bicyclists, and the National Association of Realtors. 

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