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Will Congress Turn a Blind Eye to 50,000 Preventable Deaths?
News out of the conference committee working on the federal transportation bill isn’t good. While Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Rep. John Mica (R-FL) yesterday announced that “the conferees have moved forward toward a bipartisan, bicameral agreement on a highway reauthorization bill,” we’re hearing that important programs that fund biking and walking are in urgent peril.
To shine the spotlight on the critical importance of federal dollars in making our street safe for all users, Transportation for America has released new data showing the tremendous death toll of streets designed for cars alone: 50,000 preventable pedestrian deaths between 2001 and 2010. Those tragedies touched all Congressional district across the country, making the preservation of bike/ped funding a local issue for every single member of Congress.
“Our analysis has found that many of the most dangerous roads in the country were built either with federal dollars or under federal guidelines,” said James Corless, director of Transportation for America. “Having saddled communities with unsafe streets, it would be the height of cruelty for Congress now to take away resources and latitude from local communities trying to improve those conditions and save lives.”
Among the most dangerous districts:
- Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30): 289 deaths
- Corrine Brown (FL-03): 274
- Jerrold Nadler (NY-08): 195
- Steve Southerland (FL-02): 164
- Ralph Hall (TX-04): 127
- Rob Bishop (UT-01): 109
- James Lankford (OK-05): 118
- Fred Upton (MI-06): 83
“We implore House members of the conference committee to remember their constituents who have died as a result of dangerous conditions on their roadways that could be fixed with the very modest investment proposed in the Senate bill,” Corless urged. Read more from T4 or analysis from Streetsblog.