Reps Matsui and LaTourette Introduce the Bipartisan Safe and Complete Streets Act of 2011

Representatives Matsui, LaTourette
Representatives Matsui, LaTourette

(UPDATED 5/6/11) Representatives Doris Matsui (D-CA) and Steven LaTourette (R-OH) have introduced the Safe and Complete Streets Act of 2011 (H.R. 1780) into the US House of Representatives. The measure would help ensure safe travel for millions of Americans by directing states and regions to adopt policies to provide for the needs of all users of the transportation system, including people of all ages and abilities who are walking, bicycling, and taking the bus.

“This bill will help ensure that our federal transportation investments are creating the safest environment possible for everyone using our roadways,” said Congresswoman Doris Matsui, the lead author of the Safe and Complete Streets Act. “Complete Streets policies are win-win for local communities: they save lives and create forward-looking projects that provide lasting value. I have seen firsthand the interest in Complete Streets on the local level, and a Federal Complete Streets standard will ensure a consistent approach for all our transportation investments.”

Representative LaTourette added, “I’m happy to lend my support to the Safe and Complete Streets Act, which helps ensure the safety of all those using our roadways.”

Twenty-three states and more than 200 regional and local jurisdictions have adopted Complete Streets policies to date, as detailed in the new report, Complete Streets Policy Analysis 2010: A Story of Growing Strength.

The bill is based on successful state and local policies that are ensuring that every road project begins to create a safer environment. A federal provision would lead to policies in every state and every Metropolitan Planning Organization that will transform transportation planning practices to routinely provide for everyone using the roadway – whether they are walking, bicycling, driving, or catching the bus or train. It would likely be folded into the federal transportation authorization bill.

A Senate version of the bill is expected soon.

“We are so pleased to have Congressional champions who are committed to creating safer streets,” said Barbara McCann, Coalition Executive Director. “They are being responsive to communities across the country that are adopting state and local Complete Streets policies and want to see a consistent commitment to safety reflected in federal transportation investments as well.”

We’ll be sharing the comments of Coalition members on the introduction.

The National Complete Streets Coalition brings together public interest groups such as AARP, the American Public Transportation Association, and America Bikes, as well as practitioner organizations such as the Institute of Transportation Engineers, the American Society of Landscape Architects, and the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals. Together, we are working for the adoption and effective implementation of Complete Streets policies at the local, state, and federal level.

Streetsblog is also covering the bill’s introduction.

A copy of a Dear Colleague letter being circulated in support of the legislation is available here (.pdf).

To add your organization to the list of those supporting H.R. 1780, please fill out this form.

Representative Matsui’s press release on the bill can be found here.

Complete Streets