It’s great to have a politician Ohio can be proud of for a change. Representative Steve LaTourette of Bainbridge Township (i.e., exurban Cleveland) has co-sponsored a national complete streets bill in the US House of Representatives. It seems that Rep. LaTourette has come full circle after creating a bit of a controversy last year by questioning the value of bike lanes. From Streetsblog:
Reps. Matsui, LaTourette Introduce Complete Streets Bill
by Tanya Snyder on May 5, 2011
A bill to provide Americans with more transportation choices than just driving is one step closer to becoming law. Reps. Doris Matsui (D-CA) and Steve LaTourette (R-OH) just introduced the Safe and Complete Streets Act of 2011 [PDF]. The bill doesn’t have a number yet.
…LaTourette’s support for complete streets came as a result of advocates flooding his office with complaints after he ridiculed bicycling as a mode of transportation and a jobs engine in a committee hearing last year. Perhaps if he’d never made those disparaging remarks he would never have discovered the groundswell of support for active transportation and wouldn’t be the complete streets champion he is today.
…The bill would require that states and metropolitan planning organizations craft and adhere to a complete streets policy, with guidance from the USDOT, that would apply to all federally funded projects. States or MPOs would need senior-level approval and documentation to get an exemption. It doesn’t apply to existing roads or new projects whose planning is already well underway.
The bill is unlikely to pass as a stand-alone bill, but creates dialog about what should be in in the forthcoming transportation funding reauthorization bill. I think the important thing here though is to see that some politicians do respond to comments from constituents, even when it’s about active transportation.