Are you forced to use a car for all your daily trips, even those close to home? Can your children safely walk or bike to school? Do your neighborhood streets create polluted runoff and cause local flooding? Is your community economically stagnant?
Across America, transportation networks can be designed to do more than simply move cars from point A to B. Inter-connected grid networks of streets, well-designed walking and biking corridors and trails, and “Complete Streets” all help people get out of their cars and lead more active lives. These sustainable transportation design approaches connect communities, encourage economic investment, improve health, and reduce negative environmental impacts. By simply redesigning our outdated car-centric transportation networks, we can create a healthier, more comprehensive system at low-cost.
Support this important legislation now. Contact Your Representative and Senators.
Why redesign our transportation system? More sustainable transportation options:
Help Families. Redesigning transportation networks so communities are more walkable, bikeable and better connected to public transit enables people to avoid using cars for 5-minute trips, potentially helping families save thousands in transportation costs each year. Options improve affordability.
Save Lives. Establishing a less car-centric transportation system can help reduce some of the 5,000 pedestrian and bicycle deaths and 120,000 injuries each year, including many school-age children.
Create Jobs. A recent study found that 14 jobs are created for every $1 million spent on bike lanes, compared to only seven jobs per $1 million on road repair work.
Save Money.Green infrastructure design techniques like porous paving, curbside rain gardens, and bio-swales can sustainably manage water runoff created by roads, helping cities save billions of dollars on new infrastructure upgrades like pipes and water treatment facilities.
Reduce Traffic. Green Complete Streets provide other ways to get around like sidewalks, bicycle lanes, and public transit, reducing car traffic. These improvements also make communities more livable.
Get People Moving. According to the Center for City Park Excellence at the Trust for Public Land, almost half of all Americans get less than the recommended amount of physical activity, and more than a third don't get in any leisure-time physical activity at all. Walkable neighborhoods enable people to more easily get their daily exercise.
Help the Environment. More walking and biking means fewer car trips and reduced air pollution. Green Complete Streets are lined with trees, which clean air, reduce asthma rates during hotter months, and mitigate the urban heat island effect. In addition, green infrastructure like curb-side rain gardens can clean water runoff, improving water quality.
What's in the Legislation?
Congress is developing a new surface transportation law that will guide our nation’s transportation choices for the next six years. Now is the time to call on Congress to craft a transportation bill that provides Americans with more safe, affordable transportation options, including transit-oriented development (TOD), pedestrian and bicycle paths and trails, better access to public transportation, and Complete Streets.
American Institute of Architects
American Planning Association
Complete Street Coalition
Brief on Transportation Enhancements
Transportation for America's Dangerous by Design 2011
Aging in Place, Stuck without Options: Fixing the Mobility Crisis Threatening the Baby Boomer Generation
Pedestrian and Bicycle Infrastructure: A National Study of Employment Impacts, June 2011
NE Siskiyou Green Street, Seattle, Washington
Transit Revitalization Investment District (TRID) Master Plan, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Transportation for America’s Introduction to Federal Transportation Policy