Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Senate Committee Votes Tomorrow On Complete Streets Amendment

Tomorrow, the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation will vote on an amendment which would require federally-funded street projects to consider all road users (including pedestrians and bicyclists) in their design.

This is the first time in six years that Complete Streets policies have been acted upon on a federal level.

Sen. Pat Toomey sits on this Committee.  Below is a letter we sent to Toomey's office.  The League of American Bicyclists is organizing engaged citizens to contact their respective Senators.  You can take action here.
December 13, 2011
Dear Senator Toomey,
I write to encourage you to support Senator Mark Begich’s amendment to S. 1950, which will ensure that all federally funded street projects provide for the safe travel of all users: those who are walking, bicycling, riding transit, or driving cars. This is an important opportunity to invest in both the country and Pennsylvania’s health and economic future.

Complete Streets policies like this are being implemented across the country, and with good reason. Considering all road users in street design will save lives. Over the past ten years, 67% of all pedestrian fatalities have happened on federal-aid roads. Vehicle-pedestrian crashes also disproportionately affect older pedestrians and people living in rural areas.
Adopting this policy will also save Pennsylvanian money. Complete Streets policies improve lower-cost transportation options like walking and bicycling, saving families money on ever-increasing transportation costs. Considering all road users at the beginning of project development also saves the state costly retrofitting later on. A 2009 study found neighborhood streets built to serve all users can lower infrastructure costs by as much as 35%.
The country is already moving in this direction. More than 250 states, MPOs, counties and towns have already adopted Complete Street policies. Franklin, PA has adopted it, and New Jersey leads the nation in its attention to Complete Streets. This amendment will help Pennsylvania catch up, and allow us to build smarter roads which make our communities healthier and wealthier.
Please support Senator Mark Begich’s amendment to S. 1950.
Alex Doty
Executive Director
Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia