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Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Federal Complete Streets Act

Fresh off the success of getting the Bicycle Commuter Act pushed through as part of the federal financial bailout package, bicycle advocates are trying to get Congress to pass a federal Complete Streets Act.

Bills in both the U.S. House and Senate would require that all users of the transportation system -- including pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit users as well as children, older people, motorists, and those with disabilities -- are adequately accommodated in all phases of project planning and development. It also would require that the safety and convenience of all users are considered in all phases of project planning and development.

Illinois lawmakers passed a state version of Complete Streets last year, while an attempt by Missouri lawmakers to pass its version of Complete Streets was scuttled by Missouri Department of Transportation Director Pete Rahn, Missouri Bicycle Federation Executive Director Brent Hugh said in an advocacy alert.

Joining the Missouri Bicycle Federation in the effort are the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation and the League of Illinois Bicyclists.

Sen. Richard Durbin of Illinois is a co-sponsor of the Senate bill, while Rep. Daniel Lipinski of Illinois and Reps. Russ Carnahan and Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri are co-sponsors of the House bill. The groups are seeking support from other lawmakers from the bill.

The advocates are asking cyclists who support Complete Streets to send e-mails or letters to their lawmakers to encourage them to support the plan.

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