For too long, transportation policy has concentrated on building roads that only take into consideration the movement of cars and trucks. There is a growing movement to make our communities livable again, by making sure that everyone can have safe access to our streets.
In the fall of 2010, Brittany Vega, a 14-year-old walking to school on Long Island, was struck and killed by a car while crossing the road. This particular road, Sunrise Highway, is a 6-lane, arterial road that bisects the central business and residential areas of Brittany’s hometown in Wantagh. With no count-down clock, there was no way Brittany could tell how long she had to get across. With no pedestrian island in the roadway, she had no safe refuge. She made a guess, and it cost her life.
Complete Streets design principles assure that when roads are built or redesigned, that they take into account the needs of all users of the roads, not just cars. Simple changes in road design—such as count-down clocks, better crosswalks, protected bike lanes, and traffic calming devices—can dramatically reduce the number of fatalities on our roads. Complete Streets are safe streets: streets that encourage economic development and assure our seniors can stay in their homes and walk to services, and that our children can make it safely to school. Complete Streets are also environmental streets—providing people with transportation choices that can help to cut down on the congestion and smog that are impacting our health and climate.
Brittany's mother has asked us to host a petition on our website where you can tell your legislators that: