Tuesday, April 21 2009 @ 01:37 PM UTC
Contributed by: B' Spokes
WHAT THE BILL DOES
The Complete Streets Act of 2009 (H.R. 1443) ensures that future transportation investments made by State departments of transportation and Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) create appropriate and safe transportation facilities for all those using the nation’s roads—motorists, transit vehicles and riders, bicyclists, and pedestrians of all ages and abilities.
Policy Requirement: H.R. 1443 requires States and MPOs to adopt complete streets policies for federally-funded projects within two years. These complete streets policies must ensure that the needs of all users of the transportation system are taken into account during the design, planning, construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, maintenance, and operating phases of transportation project implementation.
Exemption Procedures: H.R. 1443 also gives State, regional, and local jurisdictions flexibility to exempt projects from compliance with complete streets policies. Projects may be exempted from complying with complete streets principles if users are prohibited by law from using a given right-of-way (such as in the case of freeways), if the cost of implementing complete streets principles would be prohibitive, or if the existing and planned population and employment densities around a given roadway are low enough that there is a clear lack of need for complete streets.
Enforcement: H.R. 1443 enforces this complete streets policy requirement by restricting a progressively higher amount of non-compliant states’ highway dollars to safety uses. In the first year of non-compliance, 1 percent of Surface Transportation Program funds are restricted, 2 percent in the second year, and 3 percent in the third and subsequent years. States do not lose transportation dollars under this arrangement—their existing allotment of funds is simply shifted.