Transportation Bill Released

The House Transportation bill, The Surface Transportation Authorization Act of 2009 (STAA) (.pdf), was released yesterday by Representatives Oberstar (MN), Mica (FL), DeFazio (OR), and Duncan (TN). The bill goes into detail about how the ideas in last week’s Blueprint for Investment and Reform (.pdf) will be implemented. Complete streets made it in to the bill disguised as “comprehensive street design policies and principles” and is under the new Office of Livability. The bill differs from the Complete Streets Act of 2009 (HR 1443), offered by Representative Matsui earlier this year, in a few key ways:

  • STAA encourages States and Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) to adopt complete streets policies, while the Complete Streets Act of 2009 requires policy adoption.
  • STAA adds a requirement for following ‘comprehensive street design policies and principles’ for federal-aid highway projects, while the Complete Streets Act of 2009 would apply to any project receiving federal funding.

The STAA is similar to the Complete Streets Act in that it would provide needed technical assistance, data collection and resources to help states and local governments adopt and implement complete streets policies and also would report to Congress on how States and MPOs are complying with the policy.

The National Complete Streets Coalition commends the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee for recognizing the importance of ensuring our transportation system works for all users by including complete streets policy requirements in the bill. We look forward to working with them as well as other members of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee who showed their support for complete streets earlier this year (.pdf) to ensure that the House Transportation Bill ensures that federal money is used to build complete streets. We’ll be calling on all of you in the coming weeks and months to ensure that a strong complete streets policy stays in the bill, stay tuned!

Complete Streets