Friday, February 20 2009 @ 07:10 AM UTC
Contributed by: B' Spokes
The recently passed American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) included $48 billion for transportation infrastructure investments. Of that $48 billion, more than $27.5 billion are in funding categories that make funds eligible for use in projects with complete streets elements, and another $3.8 billion are available for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure.
The ARRA funding should not be used to expand a system of roads that do not provide safe travel for people who are walking, bicycling, and taking public transportation along a corridor. Too many streets around the country are designed to be wide and fast, without sufficient sidewalks, crosswalks, safe bus facilities, or bicycle lanes. Little consideration has been given for the safety of older people, children, or people with disabilities. These incomplete streets are dangerous and create barriers for people to get to jobs, school, the doctor, and fully participate in civic life. Many cities and towns now recognize the need to re-design their streets to enable safe, comfortable movement along and across streets by food, bicycle, and public transportation.
A 14 year-old girl was killed at 5:45 pm Friday while trying to cross Ritchie Highway (Route 2) on her bicycle in Pasadena, in Anne Arundel County. Police said that that the intersection isn't "designed, marked or engineered as a pedestrian crossing." What goes unmentioned is that there is no marked crossing anywhere nearby. The closest traffic signal, at Eastwest Boulevard, has no crosswalks or sidewalks.