Complete Streets guidelines could be adopted by municipal governments across the Commonwealth in the near future thanks to a bill currently making its way through the Massachusetts State House.
An Act Relative to Active Streets and Healthy Communities (S.68/H.3091), sponsored by Senator Chandler of Worcester and Representative Lewis of Winchester/Stoneham, provides $50 million in funding incentives over the next five years to communities that adopt a Complete Streets bylaw, ordinance, or administrative policy that demonstrates the municipality’s commitment to routinely including infrastructure for active transportation in its locally funded road projects. The bill was incorporated into the pending Transportation Bond Bill and approved by the Massachusetts House of Representatives yesterday. The bill now moves on to the Senate for consideration.
Complete Streets design elements, such as bike lanes, cycle tracks, and improved sidewalks, encourage people to choose active transportation for their local trips by enhancing safety, providing dedicated space, and heightening motorist awareness of other road users.
This is an exciting development. MassBike and other advocates, led by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council and the Massachusetts Public Health Association, have been working on this bill for over a year. We successfully activated our growing statewide advocacy network to generate support for the bill, and we were heard! MassBike will continue to push for the bill’s passage in the Senate.
You can follow the latest developments around the bill on Twitter by following #ActiveSts.