US House Bill 1289 – Complete Streets Act of 2021
Complete Streets Act of 2021Full Bill Text
US House Bill 1289 has been introduced into the House of Representatives. Titled the “Complete Streets Act of 2021” this measure would require that states funnel five percent of their federal highway dollars into local or regional Complete Streets transportation projects. The bill is currently under consideration in the House Subcommittee on Highways and Transit.
The focus of such programs will be “on modifying scoping, design and construction procedures to more effectively combine modes of transportation into integrated facilities that meet the needs of each of these modes of transportation in an appropriate balance.”
That last phrase, “in an appropriate balance,” is left undefined which is a primary reason the NMA opposes this bill. The Brookings Institution found, per U.S. 2016 Census data, that commuters using non-public transit, motorized transportation exceeded 85 percent. Pedestrians were at 2.7 percent, and bicyclists at 0.6 percent.
Public roads should be made safe (and safer) for all road users. There is no question about that. But if complete streets “appropriate balance” means severely restricting vehicular traffic to provide comparable road access levels to seriously underused modes of transportation, there will be unintended negative consequences to the free and efficient movement of people, goods and services, and therefore to the nation’s economy.