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Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Help sought for Complete Streets

Yesterday, I received a note from League of Illinois Bicyclists Executive Director Ed Barsotti urging me to contact my lawmaker, Rep. Jerry Costello, D-Belleville, to support language to requiring states to adopt Complete Streets legislation to receive federal funding for highway projects that receive federal money.

He also asked me to spread the word among the cycling community, and I'm glad to oblige.

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee is considering the transportation authorization bill, and bicycling groups are asking for the inclusion of Complete Streets requirements as part of the bill. People are urged to contact lawmakers on the committee by early Thursday to include the requirement.

Generally speaking, Complete Streets rules require transportation officials to consider all users -- including bicyclists, pedestrians and the disabled -- while planning highway projects. Illinois adopted Complete Streets two years ago, while Missouri bicycle advocates are facing an uphill battle to get that state to adopt Complete Streets.

The St. Louis area is well-represented on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Costello is the third-ranking Democrat on the committee, and Reps. Russ Carnahan, D-Mo., and Phil Hare, D-Ill., also are on the committee. You can see a full list of committee members on its Web site.

Costello's Washington office can be reached at 202-225-5661.

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