Boca Raton to Support New USDOT Policy

SFBC is stepping it up to make sure that the ‘sea change’ taking place in federal transportation policy gets the support it needs at the local level. We’re happy to announce it took little convincing to get the City of Boca Raton Mayor Whelchel to agree to present a resolution supporting Secretary LaHood’s new sustainable transportation policy direction for our country and, more generally, the concept of “complete streets”.

As I wrote about yesterday, the Smart Growth Partnership created a task force on Complete Streets and we are proud to be a part of it. Tonight was a success for everyone and we hope that all of our municipalities, counties and the State of Florida will follow suit.

What we are asking our leaders to support is summed up as follows:

“The DOT policy is to incorporate safe and convenient walking and bicycling facilities into transportation projects. Every transportation agency, including DOT, has the responsibility to improve conditions and opportunities for walking and bicycling and to integrate walking and bicycling into their transportation systems. Because of the numerous individual and community benefits that walking and bicycling provide — including health, safety, environmental, transportation, and quality of life — transportation agencies are encouraged to go beyond minimum standards to provide safe and convenient facilities for these modes.”

The full policy and supporting statements can be found at:http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/bikeped/policy_accom.htm

A bit about Boca Raton: The city has,historically, not been a model of progressive land-use policy, but under their current leadership, they have demonstrated a real commitment to promoting walking & bicycle paths, connecting communities, and supporting Safe Routes to School.  The City’s current vision of multi-modal transportation is clearly in line with complete streets, and we are happy to have been the ones to get Boca involved in this national movement to formally support the new USDOT policy.

Okay, enough of the chest-thumping; we are just a bit excited about this quick success. Won’t you help us keep this momentum going?

How’d we do it: Board President Jeffrey Lynne reached out to the mayor directly. His email cited the policy, as above, and included the following specific “ask”:

“As other jurisdictions have begun to do across the country (including Lee County this week, see http://bikewalklee.blogspot.com/2010/03/bikewalklee-applauds-lee-mpo-quick.html), we are respectfully requesting for the City of Boca Raton pass a resolution similarly supporting the concept of “complete streets” and Secretary LaHood’s new sustainable transportation policy direction for our country.”

Of course, not all of our mayors will be as responsive and positive as Mayor Whelchel; but you may be surprised. Whatever the response you get, we are ready to help. Please copy us (SFBikeCoalition@yahoo .com) and we’ll be sure to follow up. We’ll also track the progress on this blog. Together, we can get show Tallahassee and our own Florida Department of Transportation that South Florida is serious about promoting equitable, sustainable, active transportation options.

Thanks for all you do!

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About Kathryn Moore / South Florida Bike Coalition

I'm the President of the South Florida Bike Coalition - a 100% volunteer organization of people dedicated to using their skills and experience to effect more, better bicycling from the Keys to Martin County.

One thought on “Boca Raton to Support New USDOT Policy

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