Last Friday, the National Complete Streets Coalition joined with our Coalition partners Transportation for America, America Bikes, and the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, and dozens of other advocates to personally thank Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood for all of his hard work and support for all modes of transportation, particularly by bringing bicycling and walking to the table with his recent policy statement.
Dozens of supporters biked down Pennsylvania Avenue – America’s Main Street – to reach DOT headquarters and deliver a thank you letter, signed by 275 transportation, public health, and active living organizations, expressing gratitude and support for LaHood’s recent policy statement on accommodating bicycling and walking in our communities.
We’re also excited by a more mundane document recently issued by the U.S. DOT, their draft Strategic Plan (.pdf). It makes adoption of state and local Complete Streets policies one of the Department’s Performance Measures in reaching its goal of safer streets (pages 15-16). This means we will be working together for a Complete Streets network. The Department is inviting comments on the plan via a social networking style interface – be sure to give our comments a thumbs-up!
DOT’s new policy and the proposed Strategic plan are incredible steps forward, but there is only so much the Secretary can do. If we’re going to make our streets safer for all users, we need Congress to change federal law to make sure all communities are build complete streets with federal funds. Only through a strong federal complete streets policy can we end the project-by-project fight for safer roads for people of all ages and abilities, who are bicycling, walking, and taking public transportation. Contact your Members of Congress today and ask them to co-sponsor the Complete Streets Act!