A new bill in Congress would make streets safer and more accessible nationwide

Phoo courtesy Michigan Municipal League (MML) via FlickrPhoto courtesy Michigan Municipal League (MML) via Flickr.

Complete Streets are designed with all users in mind. Complete Streets strategies help everyone, no matter of age, ability or how they chose to travel, get where they need to go quickly, easily and safely. Nationwide, nearly 500 states and localities have adopted a Complete Streets Policy directing 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.

Today, the movement for Complete Streets moved to Capitol Hill. Rep. Doris Matsui (D-CA) and Rep. David Joyce (R-OH) are cosponsoring a bill that would make Complete Streets a nationwide standard. The Safe Streets Act of 2013 would encourage safer streets through Complete Streets policy adoption at the state and local level.

Congresswoman Matsui hailed the bill as a means of ensuring “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.” She was joined in introducing the bill by Rep. David Joyce.

“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 Joyce.

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.”

Smart Growth America and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute will hold a briefing at 2:30 PM EDT on national and local trends in Complete Streets policies, and how a fiscally-sound federal transportation policy can support the creation of safer streets in communities across the country. Stream the event here.

Complete Streets