Congress introduces Complete Streets bill

Reps. Doris Matsui (D-CA) and David Joyce (R-OH) recently introduced the Safe Streets Act of 2013.  The Act will require every state and regional planning agency to develop a Complete Streets policy.

Full text of the bill is here (PDF).

Congresswoman Matsui's press release says: 

Rurla complete street
Rurla complete street

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.  “That is why I am pleased to introduce the Safe Streets Act of 2013, bipartisan legislation that would ensure our communities’ streets are developed with all users in mind.  Complete Streets policies have been a major success at the local and state level, saving lives, easing congestion, fighting air pollution and creating forward-looking projects that provide lasting value.”

“I’m pleased to be part of the bipartisan effort to make our roadways safer, particularly for seniors and children. It’s important we take steps to improve safety in our communities and this bill is a step in the right direction,” said Congressman Dave Joyce.  

The National Complete Streets Coalition weighed in:

Roger Millar of the National Complete Streets Coalition, a program of Smart Growth America, described the bill’s introduction as “another sign that Congress is responding to the demands of the American public for travel options that are safe and convenient for all users of our transportation system.”

Developing and implementing Complete Streets policies in Missouri has been one of the top priorities of the Missouri Bicycle & Pedestrian Federation's Vision for Bicycling and Walking in Missouri. Missouri has gone from just three Complete Streets policies in 2007 to 21 policies currently.  Over three million Missourians live in the area of a Metropolitan Planning Organization with a Complete Streets policies and over 1.6 million Missourians--including residents of the state six largest cities--live under a city Complete Streets policy.