Senator Jason Lewis’ Active Streets and Healthy Communities Initiative Included in Transportation Bill

State Senator Jason Lewis is pleased to announce that the transportation bond bill that Governor Deval Patrick signed into law, which will finance necessary repairs and improvements to the Commonwealth’s transportation infrastructure, included $50 million over five years to create an Active Streets Certification Program, originally proposed in Senator Lewis’ bill, An Act relative to active streets and healthy communities.

This program is aimed at encouraging cities and towns across Massachusetts to routinely include complete street design elements in local road projects.  By providing accommodations for all modes of transportation, including walking and cycling, this program will promote increased physical activity and wellness.  Municipalities will be eligible to be certified as Active Streets communities after adopting certain complete streets policies and procedures.  Once certified, they will be eligible to receive additional Chapter 90 transportation funding from the state.  The measure was developed in partnership with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC), the regional planning agency for the greater Boston area, promoting smart growth and regional collaboration.

“I’m thrilled that my Active Streets proposal was incorporated into the transportation legislation and signed into law,” said Senator Lewis.  “This new program will support the efforts of our communities to encourage alternative forms of transportation, particularly walking and biking, which improve health and quality of life in our neighborhoods and reduce traffic in our downtown areas.”