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VNRC Applauds Enactment of “Complete Streets” Legislation

In a move that signals a fundamental and very positive shift in transportation policy in Vermont, Gov. Shumlin recently signed H.198, also known as “complete streets” legislation. The legislation is good for the vitality of our communities because it gives Vermonters more options for getting around. It also allows Vermonters to save gas by not driving as much, and will also have the effect of helping cut our contribution to climate change.  VNRC has supported the notion of “complete streets” for many years.

The bill requires the state and municipalities to design new roads to be accessible to pedestrians, bicyclists, and public transportation. Under this law, things like better and more extensive sidewalks, bike lanes, and public transit options will be increasingly available to Vermonters over time.

This is good transportation policy,” said Brian Shupe, VNRC’s deputy director.

“Making our downtowns and village centers more walkable is good smart growth policy. Enhancing the state’s reputation and as a destination for bicyclists is good economic development policy, and reducing our reliance on the single occupancy automobile, which complete streets will do, is good energy policy because it reduces our reliance on fossil fuels. In an era of rising gas prices, reducing our reliance on fossil fuels will not only help Vermonters save money, but will also reduce Vermont’s contribution to global climate change,” Shupe said.

AARPVT led the effort to get the legislation passed. Also critical was the work of Rep. Mollie Burke of Brattleboro who led the effort in the legislature, as well as Rep. Patrick Brennan chair of the House Transportation Committee.  Sen. Richard Mazza, the chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, deserves thanks as well.

Click here and then click on “As Passed both House and Senate” to read the bill as passed.