Complete Streets: Integrating Safety and Livability into the Next Transportation Bill

Friday, June 5, 2009
10:00 – 11:30 am
B318 Rayburn House Office Building

The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) and Transportation for America (T4A) invite you to a briefing to discuss how the next transportation authorization bill can help create safer streets and more livable communities. A newly-released report by AARP, Planning Complete Streets for an Aging America, examines how states, cities, and towns around the country have used complete streets policies to encourage the design of street networks that safely accommodate all users-including transit riders, bicyclists, and pedestrians of all ages and abilities. These policies have shown significant additional benefits for public health, travel mobility, and economic development. This briefing will explore how such policies are developed and implemented, and how they can be incorporated into federal legislation. Speakers include:

  • Hon. William Floyd, Mayor, City of Decatur, Georgia
  • Jon Orcutt, Policy Director, New York City Department of Transportation
  • Ileana Arias, PhD, Director, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Lavada DeSalles, former member, AARP Board of Directors
  • Barbara McCann, Executive Director, National Complete Streets Coalition

A pedestrian is injured every eight minutes in the United States and pedestrians account for a disproportionate share of traffic-related fatalities. Older Americans are especially vulnerable. Persons over 65 years of age comprise approximately 12 percent of the population, but account for 19 percent of U.S. pedestrian fatalities. In a recent survey of Americans over 50 years of age, almost half reported they cannot safely cross the main streets near their home. Although this age group is expanding, the AARP report finds that three-quarters of transportation planners and engineers indicated they have not addressed the needs of older Americans in street planning.

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. Communities adopting the complete streets approach are discovering additional benefits including higher rates of physical activity among residents-an important factor for improved health-and more vibrant business districts and neighborhoods.

The Complete Streets Act of 2009 (H.R.1443, S.584) introduced by Rep. Doris Matsui (D-CA) and Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) illustrates how federal policy can address these issues.

This briefing is free and open to the public. No RSVP required.
For more information, contact Jan Mueller at (202) 662-1883 or jmueller [at]

Complete Streets