Michelle Ciccolo, President of MAPC, yesterday joined Maddie Ribble of the Massachusetts Public Health Association, Lizzi Weyant of Transportation for Massachusetts and David Watson of MassBike to testify at the State House in support of adding the Active Streets Certification Program to the Transportation Bond Bill (H.3763).
The program would allow municipalities certified as Active Streets Communities to be eligible for competitive grant funding to implement Complete Streets. Complete Streets are streets designed for all modes and users – walkers, cyclists, motorists and transit riders. Certification would be tied to the community’s commitment to include infrastructure for active transportation in its locally funded road projects.
Citing the AIA’s report, Local Leaders, Healthier Communities through Design, Ciccolo pointed out that investments in walkability increase land value by 70 to 300 percent and retail sales by 30 percent; and that studies show that in walkable communities, the average man weighs ten pounds less, and the average woman six pounds less.
The panel testified before the House Committee on Bonding, Capital Expenditures and State Assets. Chairman Antonio Cabral (D-New Bedford) expressed his support for the concept of Complete Streets and indicated he had received numerous emails in support of the program.
— Nicholas Downing, Policy Analyst MAPC Governmental Affairs Division