I admit, “wonderful” might be an overstatement.
But it is an exciting time for the Complete Streets movement, as a crop of new Complete Streets bills have already been introduced in a half-dozen state legislatures. Each of the introduced bills could have a significant impact in helping to provide safe transportation options for residents and equipping state departments of transportation with new direction to take with their projects.
With state governments tackling a number of issues this year, Complete Streets bills may get lost in the shuffle. It’s important that you contact your own state representatives to ask them to support the bills, and send a note of thanks to those who have introduced the language. Tell them how Complete Streets would make your life better by lowering your transportation expenses or for your children to be more physically active.
HB 1354, which would have directed the Indiana Department of Transportation to adopt Complete Streets guidelines for its projects and design manual, did not receive a hearing in the House Roads and Transportation committee, making it unlikely for any further action this session.
- Send your thanks to Rep. Nancy Dembowski by calling her office at (317) 232-9600 or emailing [email protected].
- Look up your legislators and let them know you support Complete Streets in Indiana.
HCR 23, introduced by Rep. Sally Faith (R-St. Charles), got a committee hearing on February 17. Many organizations testified in support of the resolution, which urges the adoption of Complete Streets policies at the local, metropolitan, regional, state, and national levels. The Missouri Bicycle & Pedestrian Federation, the American Heart Association, Great Rivers Greenway District, the Missouri Parks and Recreation Association, ParaQuad, and Jim Schultz, Mayor Pro Tem of the city of Independence gave spoken testimony bolstered by a longer list of organizations that sent along written statements of support. The Resolution is scheduled for another hearing this Thursday, February 24, giving more Missourians an opportunity to express their support.
- Send your thanks to Rep. Sally Faith by calling (573) 751-1452 or sending an email to [email protected].
- Look up your legislators and ask them to support HCR 23.
S. 1332, introduced by Senator Martin Dilan (D-Brooklyn) on January 6, would direct projects receiving federal or state funding to provide for the needs of all users, and require the New York Department of Transportation to submit a report on its progress and best practices. Even as more communities across the state – from Buffalo to the Adirondacks, down through the Hudson Valley and out along Long Island – are adopting their own Complete Streets policies to address safety and public health concerns, the New York State Association of Counties has issued a resolution against the bill. The Tri-State Transportation Campaign and AARP New York are working in support of the bill, and have esponded to the Counties’ concerns.
- Thank Senator Dilan for his leadership by calling his District office at (718) 573-1726, his Albany office at (518) 455-2177, or by emailing [email protected].
- Contact your Senator in support of S. 1332 and let your Assembly member know you support Complete Streets in New York.
On February 2, Sen. Rodney Ellis (D-Houston) and Rep. Linda Harper-Brown (R-Irving) filed Complete Streets bills in their respective houses. SB 513 and HB 1105 would direct the Texas Transportation Commission to adopt a Complete Streets policy to provide for bicyclists, pedestrians, and public transportation users. The bills direct use of the latest design guidance available from a number of organizations. Local authorities using state or federal money would also be required to follow the adopted policy.
- You can send your thanks to Sen. Ellis by calling his office at (512) 463-0113 or using his online contact form, and to Rep. Harper-Brown by calling her office at (512) 463-0641 or using her online form.
- Look up your Senator and Representative and ask them to support these important bills.
H. 198 (.pdf), introduced in early February, would change existing state statutes to more clearly direct accommodation for people of all ages and abilities, whether walking, bicycling, taking public transportation, or driving. It would also require annual reporting on progress. The bill already has support from 28 Representatives and is supported by AARP Vermont and 45 partner organazations.
- You can look up your representatives and let them know you support a comprehensive Complete Streets approach in Vermont.
- If you are represented by one of the follow, be sure to thank them for sponsoring the bill: Representatives Burke, Masland, Andrews, Bohi, Davis, Donovan, Edwards, Font-Russell, French, Haas, Head, Lanpher, Lorber, Martin, McFaun, Mrowicki, Pearson, Pugh, Ram, Shand, Spengler, Waite-Simpson, Webb, Weston, Wilson, Wizowaty, Wright, and Young.
Two bills to support local Complete Streets measures were introduced in the Washington state legislature in January. HB 1700, which has already passed the House Transportation Committee, would allows cities, towns, and counties to use more flexible and comprehensive design guidance than currently provided by the Washington Department of Transportation’s Highway Design Manual, and require Washington DOT to consult with communities and consider the needs of all users in all transportation projects. HB 1071, which has also passed out of the House Transportation Committee, creates (but doesn’t yet fund) a grant program for localities that adopt Complete Streets ordinances.
- Look up your legislators and show your support for these bills.
- Representatives Fitzgibbon, Angel, Appleton, Armstrong, Rolfes, Johnson, Clibborn, Rivers, Reykdal, Ormsby, Upthegrove, Liias, Billig, and Moeller sponsored HB 1700, and Representatives Moeller, Fitzgibbon, Frockt sponsored HB 1071. If any of them are your representatives, be sure to express your thanks!