A Federal Complete Streets law?

Bipartisan bill to require Complete Streets policies nationwide.

Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D – CA) and Congressman David Joyce (R – OH) 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.

Representative Matsui introduced a similar bill in 2011 with Representative Joyce’s 14th District predecessor, Steven LaTourette (R-OH). H.R. 1780, “The Safe & Complete Streets Act of 2011,” died in the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. This followed two previous attempts at Federal Complete Streets legislation in 2008 and 2009.

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.