Sen. Carper Cosponsors Bill to Make Streets Safer, Save on Gas Costs and Encourage Healthier Living

WASHINGTON — Earlier this week, Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) joined 11 of his Senate colleagues in introducing legislation aimed to improve roadways to make them safer and to encourage Americans to walk or bike to their destinations. The Complete Streets Act of 2011 would promote the design of streets that are safe for all who use them – including motorists, bus riders, pedestrians, bicyclists, and people with disabilities. The bill encourages federal, state, and regional agencies that receive federal transportation funding to fully consider incorporating pedestrian and bicycle safety measures when roads are built or modernized.  

“Every day, hundreds of Delawareans who could walk or bike to their destinations don’t, due to the lack of safe sidewalks and bike lines,” said Sen. Carper. “This common-sense legislation promotes safe street designs that help move people out of their cars and onto their feet. Moreover, this bill is a win-win, as it encourages Delawareans and all Americans to be active and to use alternative, pollution-free modes of transportation. This habit will help all Americans save money on gas and pave the way to a healthier future.”  

From 2000 through 2009, more than 47,700 pedestrians and thousands of bicyclists were killed in road accidents. A study, Dangerous by Design, released last week by Transportation for America shows that designing streets with pedestrians in mind reduces pedestrian risk, often through low cost methods. The study shows that the elderly and children are most at risk.  

The measure was introduced by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA). Other cosponsors include Senators Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Mark Begich (D-AK), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Carl Levin (D-MI), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Bernard Sanders (I-VT), Al Franken (D-MN), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Benjamin Cardin (D-MD).  

The Complete Streets Act of 2011 has been endorsed by several organizations including: AARP, Alliance for Biking and Walking, America Bikes, America Walks, American Association for Health Education, American Planning Association, American Public Health Association, American Public Transportation Association, Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals, Bicycle Transportation Alliance, Defeat Diabetes Foundation, League of American Bicyclists, NARP, National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, National Association of Realtors, National Center for Walking and Biking, National Complete Streets Coalition, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, Safe Routes to School National Partnership, Sierra Club, Smart Growth America, Transportation Choices Coalition, Transportation for America, Trust for America’s Health and YMCA of the USA.  

To learn more, please visit