|On Thursday, June 20, Representatives Doris Matsui (D-CA) and David Joyce (R-OH) introduced H.R. 2468, the Safe Streets Act of 2013, which aims to ensure the safety of all transportation users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, children, seniors, and persons with disabilities, on our nation’s transportation networks. The bipartisan legislation would call on states and metropolitan planning organizations to consider the safety of all users during the planning, design, construction, or rehabilitation of federally funded transportation projects.
“ASLA applauds Representatives Matsui and Joyce for introducing this common-sense transportation policy that aims to reduce transportation-related injuries and deaths, while also providing more transportation choices and improving local economies and the quality of life in communities nationwide,” said Nancy C. Somerville, Hon. ASLA, Executive Vice President of ASLA. Somerville continued: “Landscape architects plan and design Complete Streets projects that are flexible and are achieved in rural, suburban, and urban communities—all are designed to balance safety and convenience for everyone on the road.”
To coincide with the bill’s introduction the National Complete Streets Coalition, (http://www.smartgrowthamerica.org/complete-streets/who-we-are/steering-committee )of which ASLA is a Steering Committee member, and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute hosted a Capitol Hill briefing, Complete Streets: Improving Safety Choices for All. (http://www.eesi.org/062013streets ) Congressional staff and other stakeholders attended the briefing to hear a panel of transportation experts discuss national and local trends in the adoption of Complete Streets policies around the country. Panelists included:
- Rep. Doris Matsui (D-CA)
- Danny Pleasant, transportation director, City of Charlotte, North Carolina
- Angela Vance, associate state director for advocacy, AARP West Virginia
- Geoff Anderson, president and CEO of Smart Growth America
- Camille Mitleholtz, environmental policies team leader, Department of Transportation.
The briefing highlighted the importance of improving transportation safety for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists alike. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s National Pedestrian Crash Report 2008, during the last decade, 2000 through 2009, more than 47,000 pedestrians were killed in the United States and more than 688,000 were injured. Today, there are 500 state and local Complete Streets policies. However, Congresswoman Matsui and other panelists stressed the need for a national Complete Streets policy to address the senseless death and injuries and make all our roads and neighborhoods safe for everyone.
Click HERE to watch the briefing, Complete Streets: Improving Safety Choices for All.
For more information on ASLA’s transportation priorities and other advocacy efforts, please visit ASLA’s I Advocate webpage.