WASHINGTON, DC — After the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and USDOT issued a report to Congress this week about Complete Streets, Beth Osborne, Vice President of Transportation at Smart Growth America—the home of the National Complete Streets Coalition— issued this statement:
“This simple but critical concept of Complete Streets—designing our streets so that everyone can use them safely—was created within our National Complete Streets Coalition almost 20 years ago. After years of working tirelessly to encourage towns, cities, counties, states and the federal government to adopt this approach, we are deeply encouraged to see the concept enshrined and institutionalized within official USDOT documents, including this report. FHWA has done an excellent job in clearly laying out and describing the actions that are needed throughout the entire federal transportation program to truly build safe streets and roads for all people, including getting better safety data, assessing safety in project development, and making safety the primary goal and Complete Streets the default design.
“The title of this report is also telling. There are certainly ‘Opportunities and Challenges’ when it comes to making our streets safer and more convenient. Now we need to turn those challenges into opportunities and opportunities into reality. Every day the status quo approach stands and transportation agencies are allowed to design, build, or maintain their streets only for cars is a day where we allow the historic levels of death on those roadways to continue. This report gives us a path forward—one that needs to be acted on in the immediate future.
“The National Complete Streets Coalition will continue our hands-on work with states and localities to advance Complete Streets policies and upend our country’s outdated paradigm for street design that has produced a historic increase in traffic injuries and fatalities. We look forward to working closely with FHWA to turn their excellent recommendations into action.”