Legislation that would make streets in Indiana more accessible to all modes of transportation — not just the car — is on life-support at the Indiana Statehouse.
Complete streets legislation — as NUVO previously wrote — would require INDOT to construct streets that are not just car-oriented but also bike-, pedestrian-, and transit-friendly. Similar legislation passed overwhelmingly in the Indiana House last year, and died in the Senate. But this year it might not even get a hearing in the House.
In a newsletter from Health by Design, a coalition focused on how the built environment can promote more active lives, complete streets advocate Kim Irwin says:
Despite earlier indication that he would do so, we are now concerned that Representative Ed Soliday does not intend to give the Complete Streets bill (HB 1354) a hearing in committee, and the deadline is quickly approaching.
It's sad that a bill that passed last year with so much bipartisan support might die without receiving a hearing in committee. Make sure to contact Ed Soliday (317-232-9603; firstname.lastname@example.org)to remind him how
popular and important this bill is.
Shoot, even INDOT is acknowledging the importance of complete streets. It's internal, context sensitive solutions policy is a "philosophy that will be inherent to all projects considering the total context in which that transportation project will exist. CSS provides an economical balance of multimodal transportation needs, cultural and natural resources, community needs, safety and a complete streets philosophy."
It's no complete streets policy, but it's definitely a start.
Fortunately, there's some good news in the Indiana Senate on the sustainable urban planning front.
Communities for a Lifetime legislation — SB 23 — would create a commission to designate communities that incorporate walkable design, access to healthy food and affordable transportation, and complete streets, among other things. The legislation will be heard in the Senate this afternoon. And while it's not clear how effective this legislation would be at encouraging communities to make these changes, it's good to see lawmakers acknowledging the importance of livable communities.