West Virginia Complete Streets Encourage More Bicycling and Walking
With the enactment of Senate Bill 158, West Virginia becomes the 28th state to adopt a statewide Complete Streets policy. Complete Streets policies seek to accommodate the travel needs of all users and abilities when planning, designing and building transportation projects. Studies have found strategies such as reducing speed limits and making engineering changes including roundabouts and pedestrian medians can significantly reduce pedestrian and bicyclist injuries and deaths. Additionally, studies have found American cities with more bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly infrastructure encourage more bicycling and walking.
The new law states that “All transportation projects receiving federal or state funds should strive to improve safety, access and mobility for users of all ages and abilities, defined to include pedestrians, bicyclists, public transportation vehicles and their passengers, motorists, movers of commercial goods, persons with disabilities, older adults and children.”
Many states have begun to create task forces or boards to discuss and determine best methods to implement a Complete Streets policy. West Virginia took this approach with Senate Bill 158, creating a Complete Streets Advisory Board to make recommendations to the Division of Highways on implementing the policy, as well as tracking and reporting on Complete Streets progress in the state. An annual report must summarize Division of Highways actions to increase safety, access and mobility for all users, as well as safety data and the development of performance measurements.
LegisBrief: Complete Streets
On the Move: State Strategies for 21st Century Transportation Solutions (see pages 38-39)
Aging in Place: A State Survey of Livability Policies and Practices (see pages 19-24)
West Virginia Senate Bill 158
National Complete Streets Coalition Safety Issue Brief
NCSL can provide testimony to legislatures on healthy communities policy options; prevention; health promotion; reducing health disparities; access to healthy foods in communities; community design to facilitate physical activity; policies to facilitate bicyling and walking; and other healthy communities policy topics. Contact Alise Garcia at Healthemail@example.com.