The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation will consider an amendment offered by Alaska Senator Mark Begich on Wednesday morning to provide safe and adequate accommodations for all users in all federally-funded street projects. This means safer roads for everyone, including those who walk, bike, ride transit, or drive cars.
We need you to voice your support today for the Senator Begich amendment to S. 1950, “safety for motorized and nonmotorized users.“
This is the first time in over six years that our federal representatives will take a vote on Complete Streets language.
And it’s a timely vote too. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) just released the 2010 fatality and injury data. We’re glad to see continued improvements in roadway safety, including the fewest fatalities overall in sixty years.
But the sharp uptick in pedestrian injuries and fatalities last year is alarming. As compared to 2009, the number of pedestrians injured in traffic crashes increased 19%, jumping from 59,000 in 2009 to 70,000 in 2010. Pedestrian fatalities increased 4.2%.
In total, 4,280 people walking and 618 who were riding bicycles died — approximately the same as a jumbo jet of passengers dying each month. In total, our country lost 32,885 people to our roads, and some 2.2 million others were injured.
These numbers are too high. We can do better.
Senator Begich’s amendment will direct the U.S. Department of Transportation to set standards for the safe and adequate accommodation of all motorized and non-motorized users of our streets. Such standards will apply to all projects receiving federal surface transportation dollars.
The Committee meets tomorrow, December 14, at 10:00 am ET. Please call or email your Senators and ask them to support the inclusion of a federal Complete Streets policy in the transportation authorization bill.