MPHA Organizes Municipal Leaders In Support of Active Streets

Together with our Act FRESH partners and other allies, MPHA has been actively organizing municipal officials from across the state to speak up in support of the Active Streets Bill.  On November 18th, more than two dozens mayors, town managers, and other municipal leaders released a letter to the Speaker of the House and the Senate President calling on the legislature to pass the Active Streets Bill as part of the broader Transportation Bond Bill.  The municipal leaders come from 12 of Massachusetts’ 14 counties and represent large metropolitan areas, small towns, suburbs, and Gateway cities – the full spectrum of Massachusetts communities!

MPHA and Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC), together with many Act FRESH Campaign members and allies, have been fanning out across the state for months to learn what municipalities are doing to promote complete streets and to build their support behind the Active Streets Bill.

Read the full letter here or below.

November 18, 2013

Senate President Therese Murray
Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo
State House
Boston, MA 02133

RE: Inclusion of Active Streets Program in Transportation Bond Bill

Dear Madame President and Speaker DeLeo:

As you address the larger issue of transportation infrastructure within the transportation bond bill, we encourage you to include the Active Streets Certification Program as proposed in S68/H3091 An Act Relative to Active Streets and Healthy Communities.

This program would support cities and towns across the Commonwealth to implement “Complete Streets” policies by creating a grant program for which they would become eligible after taking simple steps to be certified, similar to the successful and popular Green Communities Act.  “Complete Streets” are streets designed to allow for more trips to be taken via active transportation such as walking and cycling.

The Active Streets Certification Program will help the state reach the goal set by MassDOT to triple the number of walking, cycling, and public transportation trips by 2030 while simultaneously decreasing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing physical activity.  We know that when communities invest in pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, that residents and visitors take advantage of it.  This is true in rural, suburban, and urban areas alike, though the specific type of infrastructure differs by community type.

Complete Streets also contribute to quality of life in our cities and towns, encouraging residents and visitors to shop locally, helping to attract and retain workplaces and employees, and increasing real estate values.

Many cities and towns in Massachusetts have already taken steps to implement Complete Streets, but we face limited resources to move this important priority forward.  This program would provide the necessary incentives and resources to support even more cities and towns to advance Complete Streets.

We ask for your support to include this proposal in the forthcoming transportation bond bill.  Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

John Musante, Town Manager
Town of Amherst

Phil King, Selectman
Town of Athol

Mary Pat Flynn, Chair
On behalf of the County Commissioners
Barnstable County

William Moonan, Chairman
On behalf of the Board of Selectmen
Town of Bedford

Judith Booman, Chairman
Board of Selectmen
Town of Berlin

Thomas M. Menino, Mayor
City of Boston

Henrietta Davis, Mayor
City of Cambridge

Martina Thornton, County Manager
Dukes County

William Flanagan, Mayor
City of Fall River

Lisa Wong, Mayor
City of Fitchburg

Alex Morse, Mayor
City of Holyoke

Philip Lemnios, Town Manager
Town of Hull

Dean Mazzarella, Mayor
City of Leominster

Deborah M. Mauger, Chairman
On behalf of the Board of Selectmen
Town of Lexington

Keith Bergman, Town Administrator
Town of Littleton

Bernard Lynch, City Manager
City of Lowell

Jon Mitchell, Mayor
City of New Bedford

Richard Alcombright, Mayor
City of North Adams

David Narkewicz, Mayor
City of Northampton

Melissa Arrighi, Town Manager
Town of Plymouth

Thomas Koch, Mayor
City of Quincy

Daniel Rizzo, Mayor
City of Revere

Kimberley Driscoll, Mayor
City of Salem

Joseph Curtatone, Mayor
City of Somerville

Domenic Sarno, Mayor
Tom Ashe, City Council-At Large Member
City of Springfield

Susan Kay, Mayor
Town of Weymouth

Richard Howard, Town Manager
Town of Winchester

Joseph Petty, Mayor
Kate Toomey, City Councilor At Large
City of Worcester

cc:
Senator Thomas McGee, Senate Chair, Joint Committee on Transportation
Representative William Straus, House Chair, Joint Committee on Transportation
Senator Brian Joyce, Chair, Senate Committee on Bonding, Capital Expenditures and State Assets
Representative Antonio Cabral, House Committee on Bonding, Capital Expenditures and State Assets

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