T4America Blog

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Aloha Complete Streets!

7 May 2009 | Posted by | 0 Comments | ,

Great news coming out of Hawai’i today, where a burgeoning coalition of passionate advocates were able to get a statewide complete streets policy signed by the Governor. (For more background on Complete Streets, visit T4 America partner the National Complete Streets Coalition.)

The One Voice for Livable Islands Coalition brought together biking, walking, health and other advocates to help raise awareness about the dangerous situation on Hawai’i’s roads — and how a complete streets bill could help make the streets safer and more accessible for everyone.

“This bill is great for Hawaii,” says Jackie Boland, Associate State Director for coalition member AARP Hawaii, in the One Voice release (.doc). “We’ve been very concerned about the number of pedestrian and cycling fatalities and are pleased that Hawai’i’s policymakers have decided to proactively address this issue at the planning stages of a transportation project.”

There were a total of 54 pedestrian fatalities in the last three years, and per capita, Hawai’i is the most dangerous state for pedestrians over 65. Local station KGMB reported on the increase in seniors and the policy.

With the elderly population expected to double in the next two decades, AARP Hawaii is calling for safer, complete streets. “Complete streets are desperately needed,” said Lolena Nicholas, AARP Hawaii.  The complete streets law would take into account all users of the road. Not just cars but bicyclists, pedestrians, the elderly and disabled.

Hawai’i’s policy comes right on the heels of an executive order from Delaware Governor Markell, directing the Delaware state transportation department to create a policy to “promote safe access for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and bus riders of all ages to be able to safely move along and across the streets of Delaware.”

Hawai’i’s bill marks the 92nd policy at any level passed in the U.S. But even as cities like Rochester, MN and states like Hawaii are passing their own policies, there is still a chance to get complete streets enacted at the federal level — requiring that any roads built with federal dollars consider the needs of all users while in the planning process.

Complete streets bills are still circulating in Congress, and T4 America and The National Complete Streets Coalition are looking for legislators to sign on and co-sponsor these important bills.

It’s not too late. Write your member of Congress today and tell them to support or co-sponsor this important legislation.