Reps. Brownley and Espaillat’s Safety Bill Gets Stronger with Reintroduction

The first quarter of fiscal year 2021 has come to a close, which means we have updated our quarterly State of the States TAP implementation tracking spreadsheet. For a more detailed explanation of how we analyze state implementation of the Transportation Alternatives Program, read this blog post, and for reflections on this quarter’s analysis, read here.

On Capitol Hill, we applaud Representative Julia Brownley (D-CA-26) and bill co-sponsor Representative Adriano Espaillat (D-NY-12) for their leadership on improving safety for people walking, wheeling, and bicycling. Representatives Brownley and Espaillat reintroduced the Safe and Friendly for the Environment (SAFE) Streets Act this Congress with some strong improvements over last year’s bill. H.R. 508 aims to address the fact that people walking and bicycling make up nearly 20% of traffic injuries and fatalities, yet states spend less than 1% of their highway safety funds on people walking and biking. This bill would help make sure that federal safety funds are directed towards projects that make walking and rolling safer. Specifically, this bill would require that:

  • States and MPOs write vulnerable road users (VRU, defined as non-motorists) assessments identifying locations and corridors where serious injuries and fatalities occur and strategies to improve safety for VRUs in these places
  • States and MPOs with above the median rate of serious injuries and fatalities of VRUs must spend the equivalent of 75% of their TAP allocation on improving safety for VRUs
  • This funding can come from the Surface Transportation Program (STP) or Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP),  not a state's TAP allocation
  • Requires reporting on funding spent on VRU safety over last two years and plans to spend on VRU safety for next two years 

Is your organization interested in expressing support for this bill? Read this letter we are sending to Representative Brownley and Representative Espaillat and sign your organization on using this form. We will use the letter to thank the bill sponors as well as to encourage additional co-sponsors to sign on in support.