For Immediate Release: March 3, 2008
HARKIN INTRODUCES BILL TO MAKE ROADS SAFE FOR EVERYONE
To reduce accidents, legislation will create ‘Complete Streets’ to keep motorists, transit vehicles, bicyclists, and pedestrians safe
Washington, D.C. — Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today introduced The Complete Streets Act of 2008, which would work to promote the design of streets that are safe for all of those using the street— including motorists, bus riders, bicyclists, and pedestrians, including people with disabilities. Between 1993 and 2003, nearly 52,000 pedestrians and more than 7,400 bicyclists were killed in road accidents; studies show that the designing streets with pedestrians in mind may reduce pedestrian risk by as much as 28 percent. Harkin was joined in this effort by Senator Tom Carper (D-DE).
“Making our streets bike and pedestrian friendly is a win-win for us all,” said Harkin. “It not only promotes healthier lifestyles, it lowers the amount of traffic congestion that many people deal with every day.”
A recent study by the Texas Transportation Institute found that providing more travel options, including public transportation, bicycling and walking facilities, is an important element in reducing traffic congestion. The study reported that congestion was responsible for an annual $78.2 billion loss in fuel during traffic jams in 2005, an increase from $57.6 billion in 2000.
Also, as recently as 30 years ago, up to 70 percent of children were walking or riding bikes to school. Currently, the number has dropped to only 10 percent. Parents report that traffic safety is the main reason they do not permit their children to walk or bike to school. This legislation will make our environment more inviting for physical activity, especially for kids.
Harkin’s proposal has been endorsed by: AARP, America Bikes, America Walks, American Council of the Blind, American Planning Association, American Public Transportation Association, American Society of Landscape Architects, Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals, League of America Bicyclists, National Center for Bicycling and Walking, Safe Routes to School National Partnership, Smart Growth America, Surface Transportation Policy Partnership, Thunderhead Alliance, and Rails to Trails Conservancy.
Dominic J. Liberatore
Interim Executive Director
The Thunderhead Alliance