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WV Senate adopts suggestions for Complete Streets Program

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A complete street is one that takes into account the safety, mobility and accessibility of all users, and a bill that unanimously passed the Senate March 26 urges municipalities to create more of them.

Senate Bill 158 has been a work in progress throughout interim committee meetings since a similar measure failed during the 2012 Regular Legislative Session.

One of the hang-ups last year was that some lawmakers thought the bill would mandate projects, but it merely suggests and encourages the West Virginia Division of Highways to adopt an approach to future transportation designs and planning that would take pedestrians, bicyclists and public transportation into account.

The bill also would create a 16-member Complete Streets Advisory Board to make recommendations for design guidance and to track Complete Streets implementation for state transportation officials.

The bill goes to the House of Delegates for further consideration.

According to AARP-West Virginia's data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 300 pedestrians and cyclists have died on West Virginia roadways in the past decade as a result of injuries sustained from motor vehicle-related traffic accidents.

"We thank the members of the West Virginia Senate – in particular, bill sponsors Sen. Bob Beach, D-Monongalia, and Sen. Ron Stollings, D-Boone, as well as Sen. Herb Snyder, D-Jefferson – for their efforts to encourage the adoption of a state transportation planning mindset that will improve the livability of our communities for all transportation users," AARP West Virginia State Director Gaylene Miller said in a news release.

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