Monday, November 30, 2009

Report Finds Money for Safer, Healthier "Complete Streets"

SPAR Planner Tim Wachtel pointed us to the following story advocating Complete Streets:
Tim said it's well researched and should be a good resource for policy discussions.

Here's a highlight:

A new report, “Dangerous by Design: Solving the Epidemic of Preventable Pedestrian Deaths and Making Great Neighborhoods,” sponsored by Transportation for America and the Surface Transportation Policy Partnership, has analyzed the soaring number of pedestrian fatalities across the country. The report determined that the vast number of these fatalities was the result of “incomplete streets”—rights-of-way that were designed for high-speed vehicle traffic only. Specifically, the absence of basic pedestrian infrastructure such as sidewalks and crosswalks is a leading cause of the pedestrian fatality epidemic, the report pointed out.

...The report concludes that reducing pedestrian injuries and fatalities as well as creating more healthy walkable communities would result from “smart investments and smart design.” Specifically, the report points out that less than 1.5 percent of federal funds from the Safe Accessible Flexible Efficient Transportation Efficiency Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) was used for pedestrian safety projects. Moreover, state departments of transportation (DOTs) have not taken full advantage of federal transportation programs and fiscal resources to create safer environments for pedestrians. Instead, building more high-speed arterial roads continues to be business as usual in many state and local communities.

So, there's money out there to make our cities safer, let alone more appealing and healthier. Let's go get it!

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