Today, U.S. Representatives Doris Matsui (D-CA) and David Joyce (R-OH) announced their reintroduction of HR 2071, The Safe Streets Act, to ensure that streets and intersections are designed with adequate pedestrian safeguards in mind. As a part of its efforts to make certain federal transportation infrastructure investments provide safe travel for all, AARP fully supports this important, bipartisan legislation and urges Congress to include it in its rewrite of the surface transportation bill.
“Every two hours, a pedestrian gets killed in a traffic crash, and one in five is someone age 65 or older,” said Jo Ann Jenkins, AARP CEO. “T he Safe Streets Act would save lives by ensuring that the design of roads and crosswalks allow American families, especially older drivers and pedestrians, to travel to and arrive at their destination in a safer manner.”
The Safe Streets approach ensures that projects are built right the first time and would require minimal or no additional spending. State and regional planners and traffic engineers would consider the needs of all users, so that roadways and intersections include features to improve safety—such as sidewalks, proper crosswalk signal timing and bicycle lanes—as is found appropriate for each community. More than 700 jurisdictions, including 30 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico have adopted Safe Streets policies.
Planners would have two years to adopt “Complete Streets” policies that take the safety needs of all roadway users into account during the design, planning, construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, maintenance and operating phases of transportation projects. The policy would apply to federally-funded new and reconstructed projects.
“AARP is thankful that Representatives Matsui and Joyce (and supporters) are leading the fight to give our communities the tools they need to keep our streets safe for people of all ages,” added Jenkins.
For more information, please visit www.aarp.org.