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AASHTO Journal

Senate Bill Seeks to Make Streets Safer & Encourage Healthier Living
A dozen senators introduced legislation last week to make roads safer for Americans to walk or bike to their destinations.

The Complete Streets Act of 2011 (S 1056) would promote the design of streets that are safe for all who use them -- including motorists, bus riders, pedestrians, bicyclists, and people with disabilities. The bill encourages federal, state, and regional agencies that receive federal transportation funding to fully consider incorporating pedestrian and bicycle safety measures when roads are built or modernized, according to a statement released by Sen. Tom Carper, D-Delaware, one of the sponsors.

"Every day, hundreds of Delawareans who could walk or bike to their destinations don't, due to the lack of safe sidewalks and bike lanes," Carper said in the statement. "This common-sense legislation promotes safe street designs that help move people out of their cars and onto their feet. Moreover, this bill is a win-win, as it encourages Delawareans and all Americans to be active and to use alternative, pollution-free modes of transportation. This habit will help all Americans save money on gas and pave the way to a healthier future."

From 2000 through 2009, more than 47,700 pedestrians and thousands of bicyclists were killed in road accidents, according to Carper's office.

The Complete Streets Act has been endorsed by numerous organizations including AARP, Alliance for Biking and Walking, America Bikes, America Walks, American Association for Health Education, American Planning Association, American Public Health Association, American Public Transportation Association, Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals, Bicycle Transportation Alliance, Defeat Diabetes Foundation, League of American Bicyclists, NARP, National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, National Association of Realtors, National Center for Walking and Biking, National Complete Streets Coalition, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, Safe Routes to School National Partnership, Sierra Club, Smart Growth America, Transportation Choices Coalition, Transportation for America, Trust for America's Health, and YMCA of the USA.

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