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Complete Streets legislation ensures that construction and reconstruction projects using federal or state funding will result in roadways that safely accommodate all users and are comfortable for walking, bicycling, and transit use. This provision can reduce traffic-related crashes and mitigate congestion. Complete Streets promote active transportation to improve the health of individuals and the quality of life in our communities. Improved quality of life attracts the best employers and increases tourism in Texas.
Typically, statewide Complete Streets policies apply to new roads and reconstruction projects that use state or federal funding. These policies usually do not apply to projects that use only municipal or county funding (although cities or counties may have their own Complete Streets policies). Such policies can also apply to pavement resurfacing projects where bicycling, pedestrian, and transit areas can be added within the scope of the original roadwork.
This bill was filed in the 2011 Legislative session (HB 1105, SB 513) and was passed out of both transportation committees. However, there was not sufficient time to develop momentum for this bill before the end of the session. Since this was the first time a number of legislators had been exposed to the Complete Streets concept, a time-consuming education process was involved. BikeTexas staff will need to continue this education process in 2013.
BikeTexas is currently working with legislators who supported the bill in 2011. This bill has not yet been filed in the 2013 Session.
For more information on Complete Streets and to get involved in the 2013 bill, see the BikeTexas Complete Streets page. To see how Complete Streets has worked in other states, visit the National Complete Streets website.